Campbell-Trachter syndrome

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Campbell-Trachter syndrome2016-12-07T09:34:37+00:00

Campbell-Trachter syndrome

A “syndrome” that Drs TG Campbell and R Trachter, Australian interns, described in the otherwise respectable British Medical Journal as “…the feeling that overcomes students of medicine when they realise that they will never have an eponymous syndrome named after them.”

This made-up entity is best regarded as an exercise in complete silliness, sanctioned by the BMJ’s editor, F Godlee, in a hopefully rare departure from her otherwise serious role of ensuring referenced quality reporting by her journal’s authors. Drs C and T further insult our intelligence by fabricating major and minor criteria for this non-entity.

Major criteria

• Depression of varying degrees

• Indulgence in harebrained schemes to have a syndrome named after oneself

Minor criteria

• Increased or decreased library time (by ≥2 hours per day)

• Anhedonia Particularly decreased joy in reading Harrison’s or performing short cases

• Feelings of decreased self worth

• Inappropriately increased or decreased use of eponymous syndromes (>5 or <1 times per ward round; adjust to >8 and <4 for neurological ward rounds).

Per C-T, a minimum of one major and three minor criteria must be satisfied for an accurate diagnosis. Those exhibiting one major criterion can be diagnosed with “eponymous syndrome-related disorder, not otherwise specified.”

The self-serving authors drivel on for several embarrassing paragraphs. One hopes that La Godlee’s masters remind her that she’s tasked with helming a serious medical journal, not fronting troupes of clowns and comedic acts.

Reference Brit Med J 2014; 349:g7423

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