Views & Reviews Personal View

The BMJ, of all places

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 14 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1178
  1. Ram Poluri, practitioner with special interest in sexual health, Salford Primary Care Trust, Greater Manchester
  1. tiffintime55{at}

    It was 25 years ago but seems like yesterday—the day I stepped out of the Air India Boeing, feeling awkward in my brother’s black jacket. It was not as cold as I thought it would be, though a fine drizzle was falling. My cousin and his son drove me out of London towards Gloucester, where they lived. They had sponsored me to appear for the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) examination, the test that the General Medical Council requires overseas doctors to undergo before they can practise in the UK.

    Everything was new: the buildings, the traffic, the red London buses, the orderly silence under the grey January sky that seemed to envelop everything. The people: how healthy they looked! They had beautiful complexions and were obviously all bright, as they all spoke English. I gaped at them in wonder. Some of them smiled back at me.

    A week later my heart missed a beat when I saw an advertisement at the back of the BMJ job section: “Gay Medical Association meets monthly for befriending and social and professional support.” The address was the …

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