Contact Wounds: A War Surgeon's EducationBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7538.428 (Published 16 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:428
- Richard Villar, consultant orthopaedic surgeon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- the Wellington Hospital, London
Work in any conflict zone and you will run into a diversity of interesting characters. By no standards can medicine in such an environment be regarded as normal. It is uncomfortable, dangerous, unpredictable, and frequently lonely. It is invariably low paid. There is also an almost unwritten rule that no one asks a colleague why he or she has ended up working in such a situation. So often there has been some drama at home—divorce, bereavement, or repossession, scenarios that we all wish to avoid.
I remember an SAS officer once telling me that the SAS was a “bunch of misfits who happened to fit together.” What an apt description that was. Conflict zones seem a perfect escape for such people. So, as I opened the …