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Lost in translation

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 25 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1749

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Re: Lost in translation

Des Spence's title - and wistful tone - recall Sofia Coppola's 2003 hit movie which had Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson trying to sort out the wreckages of their respective lives in a Tokyo that neither was rooted in. The film was then, and remains today, a classic. Des, as usual, is entirely on the money with his swan song about mis- and non-communication between doctors and patients. I still remember reading, while I was in medical school, the autobiography of a leading US physician who was hospitalised for the first time in his sixties. He emerged from his experience a changed man, and more than half seriously advocated systematically exposing medical school classes to myalgic flu virus in order to ensure every future doctor would graduate with the benefit of an seriously unpleasant inpatient experience. This remains an unattained ambition today. I live in hope, and wish Des a much-deserved retirement. You will be missed, mate.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 February 2014
Kai Rabenstein
East Sussex Healthcare Trust
The Ridge, East Sussex TN37 7RD