Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Medical stereotypes

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 25 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3235
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

We have different national stereotypes of doctors. French doctors drink cognac and smoke cigarettes with patients. Germans doctors wear orthopaedic footwear and do have a sense of humour—it’s just different from everyone else’s. Italian doctors, even when operating, wear sunglasses and sling a pink jumper over their shoulders. American doctors mainline investigations, demanding scans on every patient. Canadians doctors would like to do the same, but thankfully their socialised system means that they can’t. Indian doctors have multi-armed gods, so seem intent on writing multiple prescriptions. African …

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