Intended for healthcare professionals

Lessons From Everywhere

Garages and hospitals, doctors and nurses

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1621
  1. Frank Leavitt, chairman
  1. Centre for Asian and International Bioethics, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel

When I take my car to the local garage, the owner, Boaz, greets me, listens to my complaints, and checks the car over. Then he calls in the shop foreman, Raffi, who examines it in more detail, calling in the mechanic or the electrician and carburation expert, each to carry out the requisite work in his particular specialty. During all this time Boaz hovers over his employees making sure that the work goes well, bringing them tools and parts, making sure they get their coffee, sometimes getting into his own car and driving to another city for a part, chatting with me to ensure customer satisfaction.

For Boaz is the owner of the garage and is personally interested that the work should go well. And when Boaz is satisfied that his employees have done their work and the car is fit to return to the road, he calls me into the office, hands me the bill, and asks how I prefer to pay.

The above …

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