Friday, 10 June 2011

The best and the worst

Fuddled Medic, in his latest post, demonstrates how astute he (she?) is by his realisation that he is about to “join a profession that includes a whole lot of bastards”, something that Zorro did not fully realise for many years after he had qualified. It is a sad fact that the profession seems to have it’s share of misogynists, racists and egocentric bullies.

But, with nearly a quarter of a million registered medical practitioners in Britain it would be absurd to assume all of our colleagues are saints. Temperament, like any other human variable will always follow a distribution curve, and there will always be those at either end beyond two standard deviations.

We all know colleagues who we regard highly and trust absolutely, just as we all know those we would not turn our back on. Doctors are no different from any other group of people and will include the full spectrum.

As an illustration, this has set me thinking about who I would nominate as the best and the worst of our profession. This is bound to be a personal and arbitrary choice, based on how I would define merit, but, sod it, it’s my blog and so here goes.

The very best.

Since January 1856 the Victoria Cross has been awarded to 1353 recipients. Only three recipients have ever been awarded a VC twice, and two of these were doctors. The selflessness, devotion, and courage displayed by these two men  can not be exaggerated, and I would nominate them as the very best of our profession.
                                               Noel Godfrey Chavasse

                                  Arthur Martin-Leake

So what about the very worst. I have no doubt we all would have our own nominations, but I have decided to stick with my theme of double achievement here. I have decided not to name them, though it is easy enough to find them on a google search. Astoundingly I have found two doctors who have been struck off by the GMC, twice. They were both struck off, later reinstated, and subsequently struck off again. Quite an achievement.

So yes FM we do have some real bastards in the profession, but don’t let it make you too cynical because we have some stars as well.

1 comment:

  1. This will sound terribly public school, I fear, but a "house" at one of my old schools was named after Capt Chevasse, who was a pupil there until his family moved to Liverpool when he and his twin brother were sixteen. Strangely had never read an extended version of Chevasse's story until now.