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Partha Kar: Jealousy, rivalry, and disdain—the toxicity of specialty stereotyping

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 31 August 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2080

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Re: Partha Kar: Jealousy, rivalry, and disdain—the toxicity of specialty stereotyping

Dear Editor,

To a point, human and natural, and with a rising number of sub-specialities, the phenomenon described by Partha Kar is decidedly on the rise.

In the Institute set up, it's the PhDs versus clinicians; furthermore, medical (docile) versus surgical (cutting) are some arbitrary divisions within the mind, unspoken but on occasions vigorously debated.

Anaesthesiologists as 'people behind the curtain' appear to be not duly credited by the patient community as well. Within Cardiology, 'Interventionists' are bold heroes till a cardiac surgeon is required for CABG.

Within Radiology, often derided as passive in the past, currently 'Interventional 'Radiology' sub-specialists enjoy glory with access to practically all organs and blood vessels. In other specialities, where the 'endoscope' prevails, the skilled ones are considered 'privileged' by patients and 'selves'. Proving oneself is the general aim, but basking in glory, and perpetually, is the 'mission' of many an ambitious professional.

Observing these people at work, with comments that are 'mixed ' can be both amusing and occasionally disturbing, if crossing the limits of 'toxicity'. Professional life need not be drab and dull, but adding humour and colour is possible without hurt or insult or rivalry.

Dr Murar E Yeolekar, Mumbai (Fmr Dean / Director, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai).

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 September 2021
Murar E Yeolekar
Consultant Physician
Fmr Prof & Head of Internal Medicine, KJSMC &LTMMC
Sion, Mumbai 400 022