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Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Not just bluff and bluster

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 26 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7207
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

Recently, I bought a slender volume called Doctor at the Bar by Cyril Baron, for less than a cup of instant coffee on a train. It was published in 1977, when Dr Baron was 74. He had been first a general practitioner, then a barrister, and finally a coroner. His clinical training at Barts began in the early 1920s, when he came to the conclusion that there was a lot of bluff and bluster to eminence in the medicine of the time. The physicians, immaculately dressed, pulled up to the hospital in their chauffeur driven Rolls-Royces and then failed to make diagnoses …

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