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The Book Forum
August 17, 1964

We Met at Bart's: The Autobiography of a Physician

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1964;189(7):591. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070070063038

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We Met at Bart's chronicles Geoffrey Bourne's 47 years of experience as student, house physician, and finally consultant at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. Although autobiographical, it is also an incisive characterization of Bart's—the institution and its physicians, its patients, nurses, and attendants.

Through well-told anecdotes the author brings out that Bart's is more than a center for medical treatment; it has a personality of its own, shaped by the personalities of its house staff. Much space is devoted to Dr. John H. Drysdale, whose teachings, clear and concise and reflecting intelligence and wit, stressed the practical aspects and permanently impressed the medical principles he advocated. "The proper dose of any drug is enough," Drysdale taught. Others, too, stressed the practical aspects of medicine. To Lord Morder is ascribed the following axiom: "It is the doctor's business to make up his mind as to what is probably wrong with the patient.

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