Med Humanities 36:26 doi:10.1136/jmh.2009.003608
  • Miscellanea

What's in a name?

  1. Matthew Rogers
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew Rogers, Department of Care of the Elderly, Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, Surrey GU16 7UJ, UK; matthewjohnrogers{at}

    ‘Lil,’ we said, ‘or Nanna,’

    But it wasn't in her file

    And for those last bewildered weeks

    She was Eliza once again.

    From Names by Wendy Cope.1

    The next patient on my ward round was David Foster; he was new to the ward.

    Before approaching I looked through his admission clerking: ‘88, sudden onset headache, CT showing subarachnoid haemorrhage, not for neurosurgical intervention as GCS [Glasgow Coma Score] 15’.

    I advanced towards him, intending in a few brief remarks to introduce myself, welcome him to the …