banalities of medical bureaucracy?


Senior Member

I'm reading 'Bittersweet', a memoir written by Matt McAllester.

<The first document in my mother's medical records was letter from
an optician. She has no complaints whatever as far as her eyes
are concerned.
The banalities of medical bureaucracy don't last long.
In November 1978 her doctor conducted a physical(physical exam?).>

What does this mean, here?

The banalities of medical bureaucracy don't last long.

The author thinks medical people are arrogant so they are not

But why he says they don't last long?? I think it should be...

They do this all the time...

  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Sorry ddubug, I can't work out what the phrase means on the basis of the amount of context you've given us.

    What else can you tell us about the story? Why should the output of medical bureacracy be described as banal?

    EDIT: Ah: a thought - did the physical examination in November 1978 show something serious? So up till that point the medical problems were only trivial, but from then on the news got much worse?
    Last edited:


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I don't think from what we know, and Loob's inspired guess, that the author is expressing an opinion about medical people.

    The red sentence appears to mean, simply, that the rather mundane - banal - reports from the medics are soon replaced by more exceptional information.
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