THIS week we have "betrayed" you all. Next week, I suspect, we will be harbingers of the next miraculous medical advance. How pleasant to be mythologised by turns as either omnipotent miracle workers or sub-standard, self-serving, uncaring nincompoops.

The uncomfortable truth is, perfection in medical practice is a mirage. This doesn't mean it is impossible to do better; on the contrary, it indicates that it will always be possible to do better. Whether external regulation alone can improve standards of practice is open to debate.

Dr Horton might like to remember that there are, out here, thousands of ordinary doctors doing our best, and willing to do even better.

Andrew Morrice (GP)

Bath

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