If you listen to some older doctors, the current generation have gone soft. They've lost the sense of vocation that only comes from working unchecked for an unsafe number of hours. These grizzled vets would love to be called up for a last mission to save the NHS, Rambo style - 1 man against the world (strangely enough it does seem to be mostly male medics pining for halcyon days gone by).
Parachuted back on to the wards, crawling through the jungle-swamp enemy territory of the wards, stethoscope between their teeth, they could be in for a surprise. Patients they encounter may expect a little more than the dose of morphine and TLC that constituted preferred therapy for a whole range of conditions back in the day.
I'm sure they're just recycling their experience as juniors. Their elders will almost certainly have had something to say as cheats like CT scanners were introduced, allowing them to peer inside patients, blinding them to the "noble art of practising medicine at the bedside".
Then again, should a doctor from even further back through the mists of time see the changes to medicine that have occurred in the last couple of centuries, I'm sure they'd have plenty to say to all of us. "Little regard is given to the balancing the humors. Biliousness allowed to run rampant, phlegmatics left un-invigorated! The patient in the hands of these charlatans is left at the mercy of the miasma that seep from the earth - striking them with buboe, ague and palsy."
"Do not get me started on the current trend for women doctors. This Garret Anderson woman has a lot to answer for. Have we forgotten that theses delicate creatures lack the temperament to cope with the rigours of our calling? If nothing else, just think how much is spent on smelling salts to keep them on their feet long enough to treat their charges!"
"It is clear what is needed is a return to the days when a gentleman physician could retire to his study after healing the worthy in society. Instead a tide of flotsam washes over these hospitals as they treat all and sundry. At least some sanctuary can still be found for those with means outside of this cabal, this so called NHS".
Some people bemoan progress, even when it makes things better. Notoriously Korean Air were forced to overhaul cultural practises in the name of safety in the early 2000s, after it was pointed out their planes were a bit crashier than others (True even if you disagree with Malcolm Gladwell). One can imagine there were 1 or 2 pilots who would have been happier if they were still flying planes into hillsides - so long as it meant things could remain like the good old days.
There is always the risk that when viewed through rose tinted spectacles the excrement that has been waded through will be transformed. It becomes the fertilizer that allowed one to grow to one's full potential. As such it should be heaped on today's seedlings for their betterment.
I would like to offer some advice to a select few of my senior colleagues with a penchant for this particular brand of nostalgia. Before making a comment, replay it in your head in an exaggerated Yorkshire accent. If you sound like you belong in the Monty Python sketch, then perhaps keep quiet.Suggest a correction