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Books, Journals, New Media
August 25, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(8):983-984. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.983

Sir Donald Irvine, President of the United Kingdom's medical regulatory body, the General Medical Council (GMC), from 1995 to 2002, presents a personal perspective of medicine in the United Kingdom, culminating in the events that led to and influenced the Bristol inquiry and catalyzed changes in the GMC, the National Health Service (NHS), and the culture, practice, and study of medicine. Sir Donald candidly analyzes the views and actions of principal players (individuals and organizations) who influenced, or were influenced by, the events and initiatives that shaped the movement to medical accountability. Sir Donald was a key figure in medicine in this accountability movement. However, without a chronological listing of his administrative roles, there seems to be a "slow reveal" of them as his story is told. Nevertheless, the book is masterfully written and does not require the reader to know the players to enjoy it or to appreciate its contribution to medical professionalism.

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