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J R Soc Med. 2004 July; 97(7): 361.
PMCID: PMC1079549

Practice made perfect

The comprehensive demolition of the fantasy of clinical freedom in the May issue of the JRSM1 is in danger of letting in another by the back door, the fantasy of the unblemished career. In reality only unblemished records exist.

Serious blemishes undeniably need serious medical attention, otherwise the putative benefits of belonging to a profession will vanish. Current appraisal however is comparable to selecting teenagers by the number of their spots. Cosmetic efforts to excise, explain or erase these often nominal blemishes take up more and more of less time, better spent on practical work.

The only case for this new fantasy and the dubious legality which promotes it would seem to be a period of involuntary work for all concerned, whatever their acronyms, in the other two-thirds of the world.


1. Samanta A, Samanta J. Reputation of the medical profession: fantasy, reality and legality. J R Soc Med 2004;97: 211-17 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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