Personal Views

GPs and the information revolution

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 30 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1309
  1. Mayur Lakhani, general practitioner (
  1. Loughborough

    There was a report in the Times of 19 October that I found inspirational, despite the sad circumstances. Surgeons in Australia, struggling to treat someone who was critically injured in the Bali bombing, made a frantic call to the British Library in London at 3 am. One of the surgeons had remembered reading an article in a medical journal about treating severe blast victims but could not track down a copy. Within 20 minutes library staff had scanned the document and sent it to the team in Australia.

    Our approach tends to be unsystematic

    I found this a powerful and moving example of the value of knowledge in modern medical practice. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a national newspaper featured a story like this involving a general practitioner or a practice nurse. But it probably would not hit the headlines—after all, we are not often in life and death situations. However, we make hundreds of clinical decisions each week that in the long run can …

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