Observations BMJ Confidential

James Cave: Torn to shreds by Sister Harvey

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3625 (Published 08 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3625


James Cave, 54, is editor in chief of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, published by BMJ. He has been a partner at the Downland Practice in Berkshire for 20 years. Under his editorship the DTB has campaigned for the abolition of prescription charges, which he describes as a poorly conceived and manifestly unfair tax in need of reform. England is the only UK country to retain the charges. He likes cars but distrusts single disease charities.

What was your earliest ambition?

As corny as it may sound, I’ve always wanted to be a GP. My father was a GP, and I loved the relationship he had with his patients and the sense of being grounded in a community.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My granny: a strong Welsh woman who remained young and interested in life right up to her 99th year. She always saw the best in people, and I loved dropping in to have tea with her when I was working on a Kent fruit farm in the summer holidays. We would talk about life and the future; I expect that she instilled some confidence in my abilities over the years.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

During my house jobs I set up a nitrate infusion on a man in the coronary care unit. Despite having to go down to the night pharmacy and use up the whole hospital supply of the drug, the …

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