Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A lesson learnt

An inspirational teacher

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 02 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:889
  1. Alison Douglas, general practitioner and trainer
  1. Aberdeen

    It was my first experience of terminal care—I was a trainee, very different then, the apprenticeship. Starting off with hand held, then the reins lengthening, and finally Jimmy said that he would cover from a weekend away fishing. We were not on call, but his patient with breast cancer was almost certainly going to die over the weekend, so would I “do the needful?”

    I know the theory, but not a lot of the practice—visit the family a few times with Jimmy beforehand, try and adopt the same air of breezy confidence and support, give them my home telephone number, arrange to visit several times daily. I cannot remember her name, but I can see her lying in bed, licking dry lips, her …

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