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When the truth hurts: Lies, damn lies, and patient consultations

Along with lawyers, the police, and judges, doctors must be one of the most lied-to professions. As you know, some patients may happily tell you whatever it is they think you want to hear, perhaps to avoid some kind of embarrassment related to their personal habits or a treatment they would rather not have. A…

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The paradox of the murdering nurses of WW2

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon With everything that’s been going on, one could be forgiven for not paying too much attention to the recent 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June. However, without the sacrifice and bravery of the 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troops…

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Current affairs – new research shows that Nikola Tesla is the gift that keeps giving

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon It’s so easy to take the genius of Nikola Tesla for granted, even now. A man of modest means and demeanour who regularly had his inventions hijacked and patented by the likes of Edison, Tesla was, you could say, ‘no ordinary genius’.Learned…

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From the bedside to the court bench –when the law becomes an ass

It appears the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant drop in the amount of medical negligence cases in the past year. While there are cases which have merit, there are others which are opportunistic and frivolous. Either way, Covid has taken the wind from the sails of the courts services, which are just starting…

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A fond and funny farewell from the inimitable ‘ginger god of surgery and shenanigans’

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon There are obituaries and there are obituaries. An then there are obituaries about doctors with a unique and wonderful sense of humour. Who write their own obituaries. Such was the case with Dr Thomas Lee Flanigan, US surgeon, army veteran, and many…

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A prince among some and a god among others – the world’s most unlikely ‘deity’

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon You will no doubt be aware of the recent passing of the UK’s Prince Philip, the British monarch’s husband and the cause of much hilarity and offence, depending on your point of view. He had what is described as ‘a good run’,…

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Smoking or non-smoking? Unusual ‘medical’ applications for the evil weed from the annals

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon I’m sure you’ve felt on more than one occasion that somebody is not quite telling you the truth, or is at least perverting it in some way. That may be a patient in the clinic, a hospital administrator, a colleague, or most…

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A funny old profession – court jesters ‘fools’, clowns… and medical practitioners

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon It really is a tired old cliché that ‘laughter is the best medicine’, but it also contains a grain of truth. Laughter has long been used, wittingly or otherwise, to break the tension in a stressful situation. I’m sure you too have…

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Memories are made of this…

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon Do you remember what you ate for dinner two days ago? How about three weeks and two days ago, or four years, three months and 25 days ago? If the answer to the latter is ‘yes’, you may have hyperthymesia, otherwise known…

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Cervix with a smile — the weird ‘wandering womb’ theory from the days of Hippocrates

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon It’s sometimes nice to take a glance over the shoulder to get some perspective on how far medical treatment has advanced, from the days of boring holes in a patient’s skull to treat psychiatric disorders or other illnesses – trepanation – to…

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