The seven ages of my BMJBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7134.870a (Published 14 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:870
- William H Isbister, professor of surgery
- Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The magic of seven was reaffirmed in this journal in 1996 by Professor Ian Stewart (BMJ 1996;313:1570). After reading the editorial I began musing over my own personal relationship with the BMJ. I soon realised that it, too, was a function of seven, there being so far seven phases of the relationship.
My father was a general practitioner in Old Trafford, and at one time an appreciative old patient had given him an antique desk which had a glass fronted bookcase on top of it. The bookcase had been separated from the desk and placed in our hall. Whenever I saw the bookcase it was piled to overflowing with unopened brown BMJ packages. I remember, too, how difficult it was to open a roll and how even more difficult it was to straighten the journal out in order to read it. Since my father was faced with a busy general practice in those war torn days of nightly air raids the rolls often ended unopened in the waste paper basket when I got my first chance to play with them.
In 1952 I entered medical school, and it was not long before we were being encouraged to read our own journals and to take out a subscription for at …