This is a place for things I read, write, and do. Generally within the themes
of medicine, technology, books, and early twentieth century medical texts.
If you’re trying to find something that was here previously, please visit the
previous version of this site at old.glfharris.com.
The General Medical Council wants doctors to be kind, and when the GMC wants doctors to be something, they add it to their set of standards, Good Clinical Practice. On the face of it, this doesn’t sound like it would be too controversial – who wouldn’t want their doctor to be kind? However, this has engendered a slew of discussion, critique, and in some cases, fear.
Like many an aspiring doctor1, in my youth I undertook the pilgrimage to the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. As London’s finest emporium of grisly things in jars, there was always plenty to entertain, and plenty to inflict on the squeamish. After a long-awaited revamp, delayed slightly by COVID, this Mecca of the medically inclined has reopened at last.
The museum originated as the private collection of John Hunter, an 18th Century eccentric and surgeon (tautology).
Medical professionals should not be allowed to congregate in public; that’s my stance, and I am sticking to it. When they do, conversation invariably tends gruesome topics such as rotas, frustrating colleagues, and human cannibalism — apologies to the other patrons of La Terra in Bath last Saturday.
To those of us who’ve begun to dip our toes in the history of anaesthesia, the sordid days of ether frolicks, feuds, and misadventures in dental extractions are rather familiar. Involvement in the early phase of inhalation anaesthesia seems to have carried with it an astonishing self-inflicted mortality rate. However, what I’ve enjoyed most about Anaesthesia and the Practice of Medicine: Historical Perspectives, is about what happens next.
Now strictly speaking this is a mark in a book, and not exactly a bookmark, but I have decided to expand the remit. This dedication is found in a copy of The History of the Study of Medicine in the British Isles (1908), by Sir Norman Moore, a famous physician and medical historian, but not a fan of short book titles.