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One of the advantages of being a neurologist in Edinburgh is that we can, if we wish, meet up with our neurosurgical colleagues every morning at a short x ray meeting. These gatherings are usually characterised by tribal, good humoured and educational banter between surgeon, physician and neuroradiologist. Neurologists are teased for their uncertainty, while neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists are more often than not picked up for their cheerful lack of uncertainty. One of our interventional neuroradiologists even has a maxim to this effect: “Always definite, sometimes wrong”.
But surgeons and anaesthetists do something regularly which physicians only do sporadically—they have morbidity and mortality (M&M) meetings to discuss when they are “sometimes wrong”. In fact it was a neurosurgical trainee who asked a neurologist in our department why we neurologists didn’t do this. When we couldn’t think of an answer we thought it was about time that we started.
So, three times a year on a Thursday afternoon, instead of our usual case presentations, we have a neurology M&M meeting. Instead of hearing how clever one of our colleagues has been to diagnose Takayasu’s arteritis …