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Reasons to be cheerful
  1. Derek Willis
  1. Correspondence to Dr Derek Willis, Severn Hospice, Telford TF1, UK; derekwillis35{at}

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Dr Derek Willis MBChB(Hons) FRCP JCGPTE MSc is a Physician Working in an English Palliative Care Service.

My son asked the question that I guess most palliative care specialists dread; he asked exactly what kind of doctor I am and what is it that I actually do when I go to work. How do you tell a 9-year-old that you're the kind of doctor that doesn't get people better, only makes them feel better? We had the argument that I'm a person that treats but never cures people, but in Tom's head cure and doctor go together so, therefore, I can't be a doctor. It reminded me of a psychologist friend, whose daughter asked her what she did at work. She replied that she …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.