10 JULY 1964, Page 16

SIR, — Do we hold the medical man in the highest regard?

If so, who are 'we,' to whom Quoodle, Dr. Gallup and Mr. Ashe refer with such pride? Cert- ainly not myself nor very many of my acquaintances.

For more universal opinions we have only to read The Brothers Karamazov to see the humiliating light in which Dostoievsky would place the most pompous and self-opinionated of all professions. Proust furnished another example of the crumbling that the medical world undergoes before the satire of a penetrating mind.

Ever since Jung and Freud the psychiatric depart- ment has been split into fragments and factions, the reality of which has been more recently brought to the public's attention by Dr. Eysenck. This split is of practical importance, 'For who shall decide when doctors disagree?'

So far as the last forty years are concerned I can think of no sympathetic study of the medical pro- fession in literature.

I do not wish to run down Dr. MacQueen in any way, for I, like Quoodle, have the highest regard for him so far as his handling of the Aberdeen situa- tion goes; but until the adulation of the profession by itself has ceased somewhat, I must confess that I find myself constrained to think of it always in conjunction with Goldsmith's lines:

ROBIN BARROW Spin field Lodge, Spin field Lane, Marlow