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Student Reviews

Doctors and patients dance together

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 01 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:0211439
  1. Arthur Smith, writer and performer1
  1. 1London

Doctor and patient sway together in an eternal dance. They need each other, and you cannot describe one without reference to the other. I never had much need for doctors until I was 47, at which point I seemed to have the need for lots of them. Lying in bed in hospital all day I was able to observe them in their natural habitat. I learnt not to worry about staring because doctors do not see you except when its your turn.

Arthur Smiths 15 rules for doctors

  1. Make sure no one dies and everyone gets better

  2. Do not be embarrassed to say, “I dont know”

  3. Use metaphors, but make sure they make sense

  4. Acquire an illness once a year and subject yourself to a week in hospital

  5. Try not to turn up to work with a hangover

  6. Remain forever curious

  7. If, as a medical student, you feel the need to do a revue at the Edinburgh Festival, make sure the women have decent …

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