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Is it part of the locum's job to whistleblow?

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 03 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:951

A few weeks ago I went to do a staff grade locum post.This was my first conversation with a consultant at the hospital.

“Which medical school are you from?”

I gave the name of a London medical school.

“How many papers have you published?”


“I've published 28 papers, so you could learn a thing or two from me. Don't think that just because I work in … that I'm thick.”

And so it continued in a derogatory manner, with questions such as, “I suppose you have a little paediatric experience?” Questions which seem harmless on paper, where you cannot hear the tone of his voice. I have nearly four years' experience with one year of middle grade cover behind me. This is only my second locum post through my agency.

  • Have we all taken part in a conspiracy of silence at some point?

That afternoon I read the protocol handout that I have been given. My second shock was that the registrars are not allowed to send home any general practice or accident and emergency …

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