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Views & Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Christmas presents

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 07 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6655

Re: Margaret McCartney: Christmas presents

I work in Portugal but know some UK colleagues. I feel the patient-doctor Christmas gift culture is rather similar in both countries, though it has possibly changed more in the UK in the past couple of decades. Dr McCartney is spot on. We need more sense and sensibility back into medical practice and all its dimensions. We are not doing what we do to get presents at the end of the day, but sometimes a simple gift is just a materialisation of a warm human feeling of gratitude. And we feel grateful back for having the privilege of the human interaction medicine provides. That interaction is after all the only gift that matters and is received on a daily basis.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 December 2015
Rui Pombal
Lisbon, Portugal