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How to live a long life – choose your parents wisely

When it comes to longevity, do not take the advice of healthy centurians as they are none the wiser than any of us “Take one spoon of apple cider vinegar every day.” “Take 2 spoons of cod liver oil each morning.” “Bananas. They are the key. Eat one every day.”You’ve heard them all. Even the…

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The end of the beginning in the fightback against the pandemic

The battle containing Covid-19 has begun, and we will fight on because we can’t do otherwise Shortly after Allied troops had taken the beaches of Normandy, Winston Churchill declared: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”. And so too…

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Fear is the mind-killer

Covid-19 is the greatest challenge the healthcare system has faced in more than a generation. If we are to win the battle against the virus, it is vital we overcome fear. We are waging a battle on two fronts: Victory requires that we win on both of them. The most obvious battlefront is with the…

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The birth of the sleep-deprived medic

Fueled by cocaine, the US surgeon William Halstead did much to originate the grueling work schedule demanded of doctors Doctors can survive on less sleep than everyone else. Years of being ‘on-call’ has trained us to get by on little to no sleep. Our formative years of hospital training, enduring often brutally punishing ‘on-call’ rotas…

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Sleep to your heart’s content

The detrimental effect a lack of sleep can have on our cardiovascular system is still not widely recognised Sleep. One of the most important factors in a person’s life. Most of us underestimate the negative impact of inadequate sleep and a growing body of literature is finding that a concerning percentage of the population are…

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The puzzle of the placebo effect

The placebo effect remains an ‘incontrovertible part’ of what clinicians see on a daily basis and medicine should seek to understand why, according to Dr Paddy Barrett Be it immunotherapy, CRISPR gene editing or the Apple Watch ECG, there is little doubt we are firmly in the realm of a technology-based medical future. Thankfully, this…

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