Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Widening access to medical school

Could proficiency in English be a factor?

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1942

Why can't the English learn to speak? (My Fair Lady)

Lerner and Loewe's Cinderella-Pygmalion masterpiece, My Fair Lady,
parodies the peculiarities of English language, pronunciation, and class.
In "Why can't the English?", Sir Rex Harrison muses, "There even are
places where English completely disappears. Well, in America, they haven't
used it for years!" As an American, I can vouch for the fact that
Americans often feel intimidated and a bit mystified by the English
accent. And as a physician who only speaks English, I salute all foreign
medical graduates who have emigrated to the US or UK, and have so ably
mastered English as a second language.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 March 2011
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA