BMJ 3 Feb 2007

What is your advice to young doctors starting out on a generalist career? Get the MRCP, for a start – that guarantees class. Train for general practice, if you can endure the indignities – that guarantees money (for the present). And then, perhaps, become an acute physician, because, if this editorial is to be believed, that guarantees interest. You will just do acute medical takes, and then hand the patients over to a subspecialist, who will do all the boring stuff and the long-term follow-up.

Someone I love very dearly is over 80 and has advanced breast cancer. Well over two years ago, she elbowed past me to pay a restaurant bill, declaring (with a grin), “I’m the one with a terminal illness