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Student Life

Harry Potter MD

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 01 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:020230
  1. Eric Cadesky1,
  2. Sjoerd Borst1
  1. 1McGill University, Montreal, Canada (the Hogwarts of Canada)

Eric Cadesky and Sjoerd Borst are surprised to find that medical schools bear more than a passing resemblance to Hogwarts, the ancient school of witchcraft and wizardry

In December 2001 the World Health Organization announced a global outbreak of Harry Potter fever. Four strains have been reported so far--all originating in Britain. Not having the time to read up on the subject, we took the flash card approach and saw the movie instead. As the scenes unfolded before our eyes, we were amazed at how J K Rowling's tale of the boy wizard was in fact an allegory for the journey of a modern medical student.1

The similarities are uncanny. The journey starts with applying to magical, er, medical school. This often feels as difficult as finding platform nine and three quarters at King's Cross station. Some people say that it …

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