Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

What junior doctors need

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4497

Independence: Pro & Con

Despite its obvious benefits, independence is nonetheless a mixed blessing.
On the positive side, it enhances our individuality by leaving us free to think,
believe, say, and do as we wish. But on the negative side, it endangers our
individuality by forcing us to accept responsibility for our errors of judgment.
So how can independence be properly enjoyed? I propose that young people
in their twenties, thirties, and even forties, need wise mentors who can guide
them in life. Ideally, parents should participate in the selection and
supervision of these mentors. Realistically, we never outgrow our need for

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 August 2010
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA