Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2016: Professional Matters

Doctors on film

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6172 (Published 12 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6172
  1. Chris Holme, freelance historian
  1. Gullane, East Lothian, UK

Chris Holme explores some early portrayals of the medical profession

It may not be a huge cinematic genre but some historically interesting films of doctors can now be watched online through open access digital archives.

Take Highland Doctor (http://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0033), filmed in 1943. Made for the Scottish Department of Health by Kay Mander to celebrate the first 30 years of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service (HIMS), it was shot on location in the Hebrides. As well as writing and directing, Mander played a brief cameo role as a cycling district nurse.

The focus is a pipe smoking consultant visiting an island GP who is wearing a loud tweed suit. The GP was modelled on Alex J Macleod of Uist, a celebrated family doctor …

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