Intended for healthcare professionals

Soundings Soundings

Fading away

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 06 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1277
  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
  1. Edinburgh

    The photograph, head and shoulders of a young man in uniform, is passport sized, the features oddly familiar: aquiline and as yet unlined, but definitely him.

    In the early 1960s he had lectured to us, giving us weekly clinical treats in an aridpreclinical landscape, cheering us up by relating physiology to real patients. One was awoman dying of emphysema. After she was wheeled out he said, “What that poor woman needs is a lung transplant.” We shook our heads in scorn and disbelief.

    Later …

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