Dear Doctor…

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Dear Doctor,

I love being a medical student and all the self-importance that entitles me to. But as much as I have a marvellous time living with my housemates (it’s like ‘Friends’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘Skins’ and ‘In the Night Garden’, all mixed together in a lovely bucket of bliss), I really really miss my home in the country and my dear Ma and Pa, central heating, proper home cooking and my lovely pony Trumper. I am so torn over whether to go and stay with with them at Easter or to go with my chums on a Real Tennis tour of Monte Carlo and Somalia. Please can you advise me what I should do?

Yours in a dilemma,

Country boy 84


Lumpy  boy 24,

I understand your indecision. Many doctors-to-be have come from pampered, over-indulged backgrounds like you, and miss our home comforts when we leave for medical school. I myself was dreadfully spoilt as a child by my doting parents, who gave me everything I asked for, even though they were not wealthy and went bankrupt as a result. But in this case it is very clear to me that you must go on your holiday with your friends, not just at Easter but also in the summer and next Christmas if you can. Families are for life but student days are limited and should not be take for granted. After you graduate you can spend all the time you want with your parents, and even move back to the parental home and sponge off them for decades if you so desire. In the meantime why not have a quick day trip to your family home and bring back to London some keepsakes to remember it by. I remember making such a visit in my second year, from which I snaffled away my father’s treasured malt whiskey collection, my mother’s credit cards and my little sister’s entire collection of Barbie Dolls.


Doctor Dre


Dear Doctor,

Both my mother and father are GPs and they pressured me into studying medicine, although I would rather be an artist.  I would like to quit my course and follow my dream, but I dread how my parents would react.  What should I do?

Yours in trepidation,





So, you desire to be following a different career.  This is a very common preoccupation amongst us doctors, I know colleagues who would rather be racing-drivers, ballerinas, detectives, bishops, prime ministers, fish-mongrels, kings etc.  I myself have long wished to be the captain of a whaling-ship, but have never had the least sympathy or encouragement when I have discussed that with my family.  But enough of my problems, what to do about yours?  Ordinarily I would advise you to stop being so pathetic and to man up and tell your parents the truth, better a moment’s self-indulgence than to continue to enjoy their approval and support.  But in your case I fear your parents are, for once, right.  You are almost certainly delusional if you think you have a future as working artist, and most probably lack any real talent whatsoever.  No, you must stick with medicine, and paint/sculpt/whatever as a hobby, if you really must.  If your career as a doctor goes well enough, with plenty of private practice, you may one day have earned enough to be able to hire a gallery to exhibit your amateur creations, and invite all your patients and colleagues to a viewing.  By then they will be too respectful of your standing in the community to tell you how awful your artistic efforts are, and will no doubt heap undeserved praise and encouragement upon you.

Yours wisely,

Dr Cray

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