Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Christmas 2008: Professional Considerations

The cult of the conference bag

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 16 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2677

My Doctor's Bag

Like all medical school graduates, I received a free monogrammed doctor’s bag
from the pharmaceutical industry. In time, my bag wore out, and I gave it to my
father to hold his tools. As a machinist, carpenter, and home gardener, my
father made good use of my bag; and sometimes he pretended that he was a
doctor making house calls. Although my father never went to college and didn’t
understand medicine, he did understand that the body is a machine which
needs nutritious fruits and vegetables that can be grown at home. It took me
many years of study and practice to understand what my father intuitively
understood. I wish that my medical education had included courses from
practical-minded, plain-spoken, earthy people like my father. Let’s learn to
appreciate such people, because they have much to offer those of us with more
knowledge than common sense.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 December 2008
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA