Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Country Doctor

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 20 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c313
  1. Jerry O’Sullivan, retired consultant histopathologist, Chichester, West Sussex
  1. j.osullivan{at}

    Doctors are now expected to see their role in a broader context than just their interaction with individual patients. They are encouraged to take an interest in the health consequences of global problems and to perform opportunistic testing on their patients to try to reduce the future burden of disease in the population. There is a point of view that society would benefit if the ministry of health were the most important department of state; and Balzac portrays this situation, in miniature, in The Country Doctor.

    Benassis has been a successful Paris doctor but has decided to set up practice in a remote Alpine village near Grenoble. The village has a …

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