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It wasn’t too long ago that the role of doctors in society and the responsibilities that went with the professional standing of being one were more or less understood by most people inside and outside the profession. Occasional criticisms of aloofness, poor communication skills, and so forth were mitigated by the perception of the importance of our role in society, our commitment to a ‘protestant’ work ethic, a respect for the years of study needed to achieve general and specialist qualification and a trust in our inherent integrity. Without, in any way, viewing the past through the opaque lens of a rose-tinted pair of spectacles, doctors knew their place, importance, and status in the scheme of things. All seemed right with the world. Not any …