Dodging shadows: the mysterious art of detachment

  I watched a patient die before Christmas. He was surrounded by the full crash team, which nowadays is a fairly large group. As the attempt was abandoned, and another consultant ‘called it’, I withdrew into the background. There was nothing I could do to help. I walked away to prepare my departure for the... Continue Reading →

The Clean-Up operation

  Julia had told the story of the heartless consultant many times. How he, a paternalistic but highly regarded specialist, broke the news to a patient that he had cancer in an overly matter of fact way before walking away from the bed, and, within earshot, saying, “Hopeless!” to the rest of the team. Julia, very... Continue Reading →

Glide

A now traditional Christmas Carol-esque cautionary tale for busy doctors, which also owes something to another, less esteemed cultural influence... oOo Jim, a thirty-something medical registrar, stared out of an eighth floor window into the lifting darkness. With dawn came the prospect of home, and the end of his fourth night on call. He thought about... Continue Reading →

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