Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Making a difference: now it's your turn

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 17 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1055

Rapid Response:

The origin of the word 'doctor' is to teach

The origin of the word 'doctor' is to teach.

One of the main roles of a medical doctor is to teach the patient
about their health and illness. Doctors are effective teachers given
sufficient time. Patients and family members are the main agents of
positive changes in health at a population level.

My answer: 'a longer general practice consultation' over any of the
current motley collection of magic bullets.
Little high-quality evidence to back it up though, so dangerously non-
evidence-based (Wilson & Childs, 2006).

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 June 2007
George Peat
Senior Lecturer in CLinical Epidemiology
Primary Care Musculoskeletal Research Centre, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG