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BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 05 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2395
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

    “I’ve just passed a 12 inch stool,” said the voice over the telephone with a degree of solemnity commensurate with such a statement. “Is that normal?”

    “Well, I’m not sure,” replied the secretary, a little baffled as to what the appropriate response was to such a question, while no doubt at the same time wondering why anyone would bother to measure a stool, let alone share that information with anyone else.

    There’s nowt as queer as folk, as the saying goes. And although such an anecdote makes us …

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