Two smokers and evidence based medicine

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 08 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:569
  1. H A Brewster, consultant anaesthetist
  1. Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

    It was the autumn of 1969, and I was in the middle of my first house job. My consultant was lecturing one of his patients, who had pain at rest from peripheral vascular disease, on the importance of stopping smoking immediately. I nodded gravely in the background before we continued our tour of the ward. As soon as we had finished, my consultant lit up a cigarette and walked back up the corridor to Sister's office and then out to the car park. I returned to the ward to finish my post-round tasks and was waved down by the above mentioned patient, known to everyone as “Ginger” because of his red hair and many freckles. “I saw your guv'nor lighting up his fag after telling me not to,” he told me with obvious glee. I was thrown off balance: would …

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