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July 8, 1988

Recollections and Reflections

JAMA. 1988;260(2):271. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410020137047

Photographs of Douglas Black belie the spare humor and charm of the man and of his writing. Even in wedding garb he looks morose. However, one snapshot here that did catch my eye was of young Douglas with his bicycle of the early 1920s. This two-wheeler is not obviously different from the steed that bore me in Cambridge (England) 40 years later. Why tinker with a basically sound design? That is Douglas Black's view of the provision of health care via a national health service and of the administration of medical research free from interference by a government department. Doctor, Professor, and now Sir, Douglas Black spent his working life in Manchester and London, and his thoughts on medicine and research, universities and government are shared in this, the second entry in the British Medical Journal's Memoir Club.

How health care should be provided and how medical research should