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A country doctor’s slide into addiction

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 26 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4402
  1. Khalid Ali, senior lecturer in geriatrics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  1. khalid.ali{at}

    A Russian film showcased at the London Film Festival deals with addiction among doctors

    The latest film from the Russian director Alexei Balabanov tackles the sensitive and controversial subject of addiction among doctors. Set in a remote village in the Russian countryside in 1917, the film begins with the arrival of a young, enthusiastic, recently qualified doctor, Dr Poliakov (Leonid Bichevin). He is heartily welcomed by the townsfolk, who have been without a doctor for a long time since the previous doctor retired. Without any preparation the doctor is thrown into the deep end of the profession and faced with having to make life or death decisions. Delivering a breech baby in a case of obstructed labour, performing a leg amputation in a young woman after a horrific accident, and …

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