Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Provocations

Doctors shouldn’t reveal so much

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 11 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2495
  1. Daniel Sokol, medical ethicist and barrister
  1. 12 King’s Bench Walk, London
  1. daniel.sokol{at} Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielSokol9

They should think before letting off steam publicly

Extreme candour from doctors is now fashionable. On social media and in the press and books doctors are willing to expose their vulnerabilities to all and sundry. Some write in the form of diary entries. A French expression comes to mind: “se metre à nu”—literally, to get naked.

Often, what doctors reveal is not the chiselled frame of Apollo or a callipygous Venus but the wart covered body of Mr Burns, the Simpsons character. Thus an exasperated doctor rants against a rude patient, another describes with pathos how he cried after a shift, and yet another complains about the unfairness of the rotas and the effect on her personal life. All this readily accessible by members of the public—and there lies my concern with these …

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