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 had 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.
My research interests and publications have centred on the development of new digital imaging technology, but my main contributions to academic radiology have been in the field of editing and publishing. I was a member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Radiology for a number of years, and was Editor-in-Chief from 2006-2010, In the past, I was a member of the editorial boards of Yorkshire Medicine and Radiology Now. I’m author or co-author of three textbooks of radiology, and I’ve also written for The Times and The Yorkshire Post. More recently, I published this eBook on Amazon, aimed at increasing public understanding of medical issues in the 21st century.
In retirement, I trained with The British Humanist Association (now rebadged as Humanists UK) to become a humanist celebrant, and I officiated at getting on for a hundred non-religious funerals over several years. I then trained in non-religious pastoral care, and became volunteer Humanist Chaplain to Leeds Hospitals, and I’m pleased to say that the Trust has now appointed a full-time paid humanist pastoral carer as part of the chaplaincy team.
I have a lovely and long-suffering wife, four grown-up children, and six grandchildren. 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.
I needed somewhere to bring together some 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 added this page on humanism.
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.
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 salesmen 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.