Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Double trouble

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2301
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    However hard it is to be a doctor, it must be much harder to be a medical impostor. Not only must you do a good imitation of being a doctor, and therefore suffer all the anxieties that a genuine doctor suffers, but you must also suffer the constant fear of exposure, ridicule, and retribution that goes with any impostor’s part.

    Of course, many if not most doctors must have felt at times that they are impostors, when they tell patients things that are beyond their knowledge or provide reassurance not entirely based upon the truth. And I dare say we all know doctors of limited capacity who nevertheless exude an air …

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