Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Outside the Box

Doctor Doctor

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 22 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3887
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh
  1. 1professor of primary healthcare, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  1. p.greenhalgh{at}

Here’s a milestone. Last week, I examined my 41st PhD and my ninth PhD student handed in a final draft. This means I have read more than five million words of more or less hopeful scholarship and am approaching my half century in real or mock viva examinations.

The student generally assumes that the purpose of the PhD viva is for you to cross question them on the finer points of epistemology and humiliate them with a long list of typographical …

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