Fillers A memorable patient

A vital lesson

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 17 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:380
  1. Gerald Moore, Tordown House
  1. Swimbridge, Devon

    In the late 1940s, during the months before my final exams, an item pinned on the hospital notice board announced a lecture to be given by an eminent chest physician. He was a popular consultant, and audience places on such occasions were at a premium. I cleared my day for that event.

    A packed auditorium greeted him. He began dramatically by speculating that only once in his long career could he claim to have saved a patient's life—a notion that challenged the …

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