Analysis: DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE by R. Gordon.
I. About the author.
Richard Gordon was born in 1921. He has been a ship's surgeon and an assistant editor of the British Medical Journal. He left medical practice in 1952 and started writing his “Doctor” series.
“Doctor in the House” is one of Gordon's twelve “Doctor” books and is noted for witty description of a medical student's years of professional training.
To a medical student the final examinations are something like death: an unpleasant inevitability to be faced sooner or later, one's state after which is determined by care spent in preparing for the event.
An examination is nothing more than an investigation of a man's knowledge. Examinations touch off his fighting spirit; they are a straight contest between himself and the examiners, conducted on well-established rules for both, and he goes at them like a prizefighter.
There is rarely any frank cheating in medical examinations, but the candidates spend almost as much time over the technical details of the contest as they do learning general medicine from their textbooks.
The examination began with the written papers. Three hours were allowed for the paper. Some of them strode up for an extra answer book, with an awkward expression of self-consciousness and superiority in their faces. Others rose to their feet, handed in their papers and left. Whether these people were so brilliant they were able to complete the examination in an hour and a half or whether this was the time required for them to set down unhurriedly their entire knowledge of medicine was never apparent from the nonchalant air with which they left the room.
The author walked down the stairs feeling as if he had just finished an eight-round fight. In the square outside the first person he recognized was Grimsdyke. Grimsdyke told him about his theory that examiners never read the papers, they still the night before the results come out the old don totters back from hall and...