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Logo of emermedjEmergency Medical JournalVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Emerg Med J. 2007 December; 24(12): 866.
PMCID: PMC2658377

Developing the wise doctor: a resource for trainers and trainees in the MMC

Reviewed by M J Clancy

Edited by Della Fish, Linda de Cossart. Published by The Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2007, ISBN 13 978-1-85315-618-2

Flattened by MMC? This book will resuscitate you whether trainer or trainee.

Faced with a new model of training I am uncertain as to how to best help trainees, uncomfortable with some of the underlying logic of MMC with its emphasis on assessment, progression, limited time, early career decisions… and a sense that something important is missing. This book helped me, confirmed that I wasn't losing it, that the things I think are important others do as well, and that these important things are not expressed easily and are difficult to grapple with but no less important for this.

This book reaffirms what it is to be a doctor in the face of the techno‐rational approach that sees doctors as technicians whose education is divisible into small assessable chunks.

The first part of the book critiques present postgraduate medical education and identifies those things you know are important but difficult to describe and teach. Specifically the significance of context, the professional values the doctor subscribes to, different kinds of knowledge, clinical thinking, professional judgement and the therapeutic relationship. The second part sets about helping you get these things that you acquired by osmosis, haphazardly, unknowingly over a long time. Future trainees need to get to the end point faster and more efficiently than their trainers. The sections are easy to follow with a similar format, a scenario, an important principle, a heuristic (short cut, rule of thumb) principle, resources that explain the principle, how it can be used, and a conclusion to the opening scenario.

In an age of pressure to reach targets, with increased government surveillance of the medical profession, this book will come as a breath of fresh air and perhaps provide a roadmap that leads to re‐establishing what is important in medicine.

At the end of this you will feel refreshed that all is not lost and that there are ways to teach those things that are difficult to make tangible.

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