Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Drug Tales and Other Stories

Non-doctor in the house

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 21 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4317
  1. Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin
  1. iiheanacho{at}

    What exactly is a doctor? Beyond their common gestation in medical school, what description embraces the roles and responsibilities of, say, the paediatric oncologist and the rural GP, the forensic psychiatrist and the hand surgeon, while strictly excluding other healthcare professions? Coming up with a succinct definition for something so seemingly fundamental is difficult.

    Maybe this didn’t matter as much when the place of doctors was easier to recognise or assume, and harder to challenge. Once upon a time, such people were more easily identifiable …

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