Clutching at stories

I’m reading ‘Lost Connection’ by Johann Hari again. It tells a powerful story about the impact of pharmaceutical company profiteering on how depression is treated. Regardless of whether or not he’s right about that, there’s a clear acknowledgment of the placebo effect in the medical profession. Placebos work because of the stories (which may be implicit) we absorb about them. For good or bad, humans … Continue reading Clutching at stories

Bringing medicine up to date

I’m delighted to have read that the University of Bristol Medical School are making changes to their medical training, to better prepare students to diagnose and treat the multi-ethnic population in UK. Progress is being made. It’s important to recognise that, even as there remains so much to be done. Progress is being made. Keep going. . (Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash) Continue reading Bringing medicine up to date

What defines you

In the midst of the confusion and controversy around grading in the absence of exams, I’ve been thinking about what defines us. Certainly our choices are impacted by the qualifications we hold, especially as a young person who hasn’t had much opportunity to demonstrate other facets of themselves. We’re not defined by these qualifications though. Whether a perfect system assigns grades or not, no matter … Continue reading What defines you

Doing something amazing

I’m giving blood shortly. I last gave blood not long after lockdown started – it’s considered essential, and with good reason. The process is trickier with a pandemic going on, but it’s still happening because of the outstanding work of people (including volunteers) who find a way to make things happen. It’s a reminder that there are lots of ways to contribute. There’s no one-size-fits-all … Continue reading Doing something amazing

It may, it will, get better

This will pass, things will get better. It’s a common reassurance given to people experiencing hardship. It’s well intended, but to me it feels a little hollow. There’s no guarantee and so we cannot merely hold on and hope, confident that better will arrive soon enough. But, things definitely CAN get better. Hope is a key part of that happening. Optimism isn’t a failure to … Continue reading It may, it will, get better

Possibility likes space

Around the middle of July I face professional uncertainty. Engagement with my current employer comes to an end and although there’s scope to do more work, it’s distinctly possible I’ll need to find something new. I don’t have a cushion or a fall-back position that I can rest easily with. This is a trivial concern compared to the challenges some are facing, but it’s still … Continue reading Possibility likes space