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NPD blues

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 22 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:546
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Leeds

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    High summer is the time for rites of passage. Like weddings, graduations are attended by generations of relatives and a sense of awe. Entering medical school or full registration are arguably more momentous events, but we have no admission ball or registration ball. Graduation is the big one. The degree ceremony has a quasireligious quality. Like ordination, it separates aspirants once and for all from the laity. On a secular level it gives them life membership of the club and permanent licence to call themselves “Doctor,” whether or not they ever see a patient. Oddly, the public is comfortable with this. …

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