Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2014: On the Wards, in the Surgery

A novel clinical entity: the Campbell-Trachter syndrome

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 15 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7423
  1. Thomas Gordon Campbell, associate lecturer; intern12,
  2. Robert Trachter, intern3
  1. 1School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Nambour Hospital, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: T G Campbell thomasgordoncampbell{at}
  • Accepted 9 September 2014

We wish to draw your attention to a hitherto unrecorded clinical entity: the Campbell-Trachter syndrome.

This is best described as “the feeling that overcomes students of medicine when they realise that they will never have an eponymous syndrome named after them.” Depending on the sensitivity of the subject, this can range from mild disappointment to existential despair. A small subset of students—those for whom the neurological exam is a dance of sensuous and intricate beauty, and whose own hearts thrill to the buzz of the transmitted murmur—are found to suffer disproportionately from Campbell-Trachter angst.

All doctors must be vigilant for signs of this syndrome, and a minimum …

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