This ‘attitude’ must have been communicated, for the medic arrived with her own attitude. We both got off to a grumpy start. But she saw the humour in my reserve and scepticism about medical self-importance and I responded well to her own dry humour and we parted on good terms, with me thanking her for humanising what had been, until then, an engagement with St Thomas’ which cast me firmly in the role of a health ‘unit’ being processed by various hapless and charmless functionaries. She had redeemed the experience. I was grateful.