Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Bill Noble: Enthusiastic, slothful, conflicted

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 01 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4605


Bill Noble, 60, is medical director at Marie Curie, the charity for people affected by terminal illness. He was a GP and hospice doctor before becoming an academic physician in Sheffield’s palliative care service in 1996, and he led a strategic review of the role of the specialty in 2009 as president of the Association for Palliative Medicine. He believes that television and film have created unrealistic expectations of what modern medicine should achieve and has urged training for doctors to communicate with families and for palliative care in multimorbidity. He is editor in chief of BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care and honorary professor of community palliative care at Sheffield Hallam University.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be an advertising executive with a sports car and an expense account.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Eric Wilkes, my guru—an early hospice pioneer who was the first to recognise palliative care as a public …

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