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Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture

The need to teach inspiration

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 16 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1038
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

I don’t know my place. I never have. This has been both a strength and a weakness. I am driven more by curiosity and an interest in talking to people and understanding how they work than in moving smoothly through the levels of social or class convention or staying within the defined limits of a medical problem. Often I find myself in the wrong place, and I make mistakes.

I came to England in the 1980s, on a tidal wave of Irish junior doctors facing unemployment and few training opportunities at home. In comparison with the …

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