Views & Reviews

The shame of obstetrics

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 20 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c303
  1. James Owen Drife, emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. J.O.Drife{at}

    I rarely admitted to being an obstetrician before I retired. People get embarrassed when they can’t pronounce your occupation. Cabbies taking me to the royal college would ask me to explain the difference between obstetrics and gynaecology, and their opinion of the specialty would depend on how successful their family’s reproductive history had been. That applies to everyone, of course, not just taxi drivers.

    I was not alone in being shy. My younger colleagues called themselves fetal medicine …

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