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Working on the front line: how do you cope?

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In this issue of EJHP, we publish a letter from Hospital pharmacists working in Shanghai, China. Xu et al1 describe a situation that is faced by pharmacists on the front line in the outpatient pharmacy of Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital. Patients who for various reasons have become disgruntled with their care use the collection of their outpatient medicines for pharmacy staff as an opportunity to express their frustrations. The letter describes the stresses felt by patients who do not have the outcomes they had hoped for.

Is this a scenario unique to China or is an increasingly common event? Thinking back to my days of being involved in outpatient pharmacy sections, I am struggling …

Correspondence to Professor Phil Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Old Rd, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; phil.wiffen{at}

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