Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Letter to The Editor, EMJ

It is a wonderful circumstance that when a professional publication will not publish something, one can always self-publish. It may not have as wide a readership as a professional publication but time is a factor that could change that considering that web publishing is not ephemeral.

Admittedly, the letter below was part rant and part therapy, it still raised an issue that is generally important. (IMNSHO)

The Editor,

I was to sit the SAQ (Part B) on Monday 18th December. I didn't because I arrived (18 minutes) late.

I left home at 0515 to take the 0700 BA flight from Manchester to Heathrow. The flight boarded timeously but departed late (0731). From Heathrow I took the next Heathrow Express (0848), arrived Paddington 0904 and immediately took a taxi to the Barbican.

After several consultations amongst the invigilators I was told that the 15 minute rule could not be relaxed because to do so would set a precedent.

I stayed outside the doors until 1043 when the first candidate left.

I reflected.

The exception discussed could in no way be binding on any future invigilators. "Precedent" was contextually a malapropism. The exception would have done no harm and would have benefited me tremendously.

Beneficence, too, as an observed principle was conspicuously lacking.

For a professional speciality tasked primarily with the urgent, the emergent and the critical, an inflexible adherence to the letter is a cause for concern.

A society's resilience is entirely dependent on the initiative and flexibility of its constituent members....

My disappointment and frustration are salved somewhat by this letter, but the issues I raise above are material to the profession (sic) of Emergency Medicine.


E. Hassen