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Conference call

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 18 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2998
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

It’s 2:20 am and I’m lying prone, wide awake, which is distinctly unusual. Of course 2:20 am Eastern Standard Time is 7:20 am British Summer Time, my usual waking hour. I’m in the US Midwest city of Chicago for the biggest gastroenterology conference in the world, which is appropriately entitled “digestive diseases week.”

The thought of 20 000 gastroenterologists in one place is usually enough to induce a little trepidation into most right minded people: many gastroenterologists, being largely a classically educated bunch, have enthusiastically adapted a Socratic axiom to fit more with …

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