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On his evening off a doctor attends his local theatre when, at a particularly dramatic part of the play, a voice shouts loudly from the audience “Is there a doctor in the house?!”. Eager to help, he immediately stands and replies “I’m a doctor.”

“Bloody awful play isn’t it doctor!” comes the reply.

Doctors are like actors really. Every day we get ourselves into character for performance by donning one of a variety of costumes (white coats, scrubs and suits), with the help of props appropriate to the profession (stethoscopes, opthalmoscopes and reflex hammers). Our performances are often supported by a loyal troupe of other actors and actresses (except for those intent on delivering monologues). Many of us enjoy the thrill of performing in front of an audience and may even find it difficult to perform in ordinary life without one.

It can be challenging for any performers’ family to match the sustained adulation of the captive audience of a full clinic of adoring patients. Having one’s request for breakfast in bed ignored will often come as a disappointment for those of us used to getting our way as leading men or ladies in the workplace.

Read the rest at the Medical Independent

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