Recently, while reading Sherwin Nuland’s Doctors: The Biography of Medicine in relation to the impacts on medicine of Rene Laennec’s invention of the stethoscope, Nuland writes about four milestones in a medical student’s education.1 First is the introduction to the cadaver. Second is buying your first stethoscope at the medical society bookshop. Third is being allowed to examine your first live patient. Lastly is passing your final medical exams, “and no balance remaining on the bursar’s bill”.
Dr John Frith