what is this site for?
I needed somewhere to bring together a lot of material I had accumulated. Much of it is journalism, mostly on clinical and political issues relating to healthcare, but there's also educational stuff aimed at doctors, medical students, medical physicists and the public. I'll also add some general, non-medical, content from time to time; for example, as a born-again atheist, I have thrown in this page on humanism.
I retired a couple of years ago, and I'm intending to develop my freelance writing, so I hope the site will be of some use as an introduction to my work for potential employers. It is also a convenient place to advertise this sort of thing.
There's a lot of mutual misunderstanding between doctors and patients about how medicine works. That misunderstanding (fuelled by opportunistic politicians eager for votes, and media commentators whose only interest is a good story) is now beginning to have an adverse effect on health outcomes, and I'd like to think that the material presented here might at least help to clear up some of the confusion.
One outcome of my concern about patient/doctor misunderstanding and the
relative lack of education concerning scientific method and
risk/benefit analysis in health care is a book, and until recently, the
draft was available on this site. However, it is now available for download on Amazon - see the popular medicine page.
Then of course, there's the issue of complementary medicine. Not that it's all nonsense, but a lot of it is, and there are plenty of modern equivalents of the old snake oil salesman around, including, sadly, the heir to the throne. Not only does he actively promote homeopathy, now he's even selling his own elixir of youth, having latched on to the current simple-minded enthusiasm for 'detox' treatments. Luckily, we have people like Edzard Ernst to point out that the (future) emperor is not wearing any clothes.
who am I?
I'm a retired Consultant Radiologist. I spent 23 years working in the UK in Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, having returned to the NHS in 1988 after 16 years in the RAF Medical Branch. I started as an Air Force GP (family practitioner), then trained as a
surgeon for four years, including 4 months with 55 Field Surgical Team in the middle east, before finally settling on radiology as my
chosen specialty. I have a special interest in Nuclear Medicine (the
use of radio-isotopes in diagnosis) and also took the clinical lead for the hospital (and for the Royal College of Radiologists) on
radiation protection issues - hence the material on this site relating
to radiation hazards and risk perception in general.
I have a lovely and long-suffering wife, four grown-up children, and five grandchildren (one still in-utero at the time the picture was taken!). The mortgage is paid off, I've retired from full-time work, and I thought that before I was too caught up in the inexorable downward spiral into incontinence and senility I should bite the bullet and set up this site. I hope that some of you will find it helpful or even interesting.
good-natured abuse at email@example.com
You'll also find me at hospitaldr.co.uk