Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews The Best Medicine

The truth hurts

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 15 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3650
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner, Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  1. drfarrell{at}

The traditional consultation is a dinosaur; to be fit for purpose it must adapt to an ever changing world. But until now our hands have been tied because the doctor-patient relationship is unequal. Patients can blithely lie to our faces while we are expected to be honest and truthful; it’s like a medical dhimmitude. Well, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.

“Honestly, doc,” said Joe smugly, unaware of my new arrangements. “I don’t smoke.” …

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