The other side

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 23 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1616
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh, general practitioner
  1. London

    The surgeon looked through my case notes and various test results. He wrinkled his nose, peered over the top of his spectacles, and cornered me firmly with his gaze. “That lump,” he said, “would be better out than in.”

    Irrationally, I was annoyed with him. Didn't he know how busy I was right now? Had he forgotten that this “routine work up” had already cost me an undergraduate seminar, two speaking engagements, and three overbooked surgeries? There was a limit, I wanted to remind him, to how much of this my students and patients would take without complaining. Subconsciously, I …

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