A leap of faith?BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7358.287 (Published 03 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:287
All rapid responses
Dear Alan Cameron
I think that you have written a near perfect piece.
For a few years since I retired as an NHS psychiatrist I have run
personal and professional development groups for junior doctors at Newham
General Hospital in East London and for trainees in family therapy at the
Institute of Psychiatry. I have often presented written accounts of the
interface between the personal and professional.
Your bungee jump was clearly a part of your personal development and
has made heights easier for you to manage. It was a personal experience,
but you have compared it to that of patients undergoing surgery and you
now feel more respect for those who 'entrust their lives to us in
theatre.' Your increased sensitivity to the anxieties felt by people
contemplating surgery seems likely to be very helpful.
I am not going to do a bungee jump (but did once gain from diving off
the top board) and you do not suggest that every surgeon should do it.
But if I do have an operation, I would dream for the surgeon and all the
staff to be wearing badges saying 'Yes, I've read Alan Cameron's bungee
jumping Leap of Faith.'
Your account could become an exemplar for other clinical staff in the
contemplation of the development of personal and professional lives.
Retired consultant psychiatrist. email@example.com
Competing interests: No competing interests