Intended for healthcare professionals


David Delvin: GMC rebel and bestselling author

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 19 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1263
  1. John Illman
  1. London
  1. john{at}

Every doctor writing for the media today owes a great debt to David Delvin—one of the few doctors who has been both the subject of a complaint to the General Medical Council and a council member. As a young doctor in the 1960s, he developed a passion for writing, but the deeply conservative GMC was only too ready to rule that any doctor exposing themselves to the limelight of publicity was self advertising. Doctors were justifiably afraid about either talking to journalists or writing for newspapers or magazines.

GMC complaint

But Delvin reflected the values for which the “swinging sixties” are now remembered. The revolt of the age was symbolised by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, student uprisings, the civil rights movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the anti-Vietnam war movement, women’s liberation, and the advent of the contraceptive pill, a driver of the sexual revolution. Nothing was sacred any more.

Delvin was adamant that doctors should not be compelled to write under pseudonyms, but was …

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