Difficult issues for doctors

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 12 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:0

Where do the responsibilities of doctors end? In a mythical world attractive to most doctors the patient comes through the door and presents a problem that the doctor solves with the remedies to hand. Doctors have responsibilities to care for their patients and to understand clinical medicine. Nothing more. In reality, the patient may have a problem that is more social than clinical, the doctor depends on a team and a system to be able to make a response, and the system constrains the doctor—“We don't have a bed for your patient, we …

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