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Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Talk of the devil

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 18 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2618
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    For some reason that I am unable to discover, the medical profession has long attracted criticism from scribblers, litterateurs, and even bona fide authors of every stripe. The nearest I can come to an explanation of this curious fact is that most of them, the scribblers et al, were refused admission to medical school.

    Ambrose Bierce was not, as far as I know, a doctor manqué. He was known as Bitter Bierce because of his disillusioned attitude to human nature in most of its forms. He learnt his ironic or sarcastic style, apparently, by reading Gibbon. In 1912, at the age of 71, he went to …

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