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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 August 4; 335(7613): 259.
PMCID: PMC1939758


James Currie, retired GP, Leeds

Some 50 years ago, I used to carry out vaginal examinations with patient in the left lateral position. On one occasion, I was unable to start the examination because the examination lamp kept slipping down; the bracket was loose and needed tightening up. I could see the patient was becoming a little anxious about what was happening: in her position she could not see what the problem was.

Needing to fix the lamp, and feeling the patient needed an explanation, I said to her: “I am going to leave you for a moment: I have to get a screwdriver.”

As reassurance, this remark was a failure.

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