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Congratulations to Professor Vickers1 (January 2002 JRSM) on his stand. All 20 000 retired doctors should support him. The proposal that, when they retire, doctors will no longer be able to say that they are registered medical practitioners, and will not be allowed to write a prescription, is demeaning and no way to treat members of an honourable profession. It is fatuous to presume that, by humbling retired colleagues (who cause the General Medical Council no trouble), it will do anything to stop the younger ones (who are properly revalidated) from misbehaving.