Intended for healthcare professionals


Do you know your chocolates? Recognition survey among medical staff of various grades

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1655
  1. Fiona Cooke, senior house officera,
  2. Rhian Morse, consultant physicianb
  1. a Royal Brompton Hospital, London SW3 6NP
  2. b Department of Integrated Medicine, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XW
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Morse


Gifts of chocolates are common on hospital wards. Preregistration house officers have a massive exposure to a wide range and quantity of chocolates—one of the many early and challenging experiences for the new doctor. Chocolate contains caffeine, a methyl xanthine whose primary biological effect is antagonism of the adenosine receptor, producing a stimulant effect. It is not surprising that chocolates are keenly sought after, particularly by the tired and weary. We set out to test the ability of doctors and nurses to recognise popular chocolates and determine the association with years post qualification.

Methods, subjects, and results

A random selection of 76 doctors and nurses at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, and the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, took part. The volunteers consisted of 16 new (day 1) preregistration house officers, 11 post-registration house officers (just completed preregistration …

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