Skip to content

Sexual intercourse versus a decongestant for nasal breathing issues? Trust the science…

For those who like to take a sideways look at science and research, not least of the medical variety, the Ig Nobel awards are a highlight of the scientific calendar. The awards are for research that “first makes people laugh, then makes them think”. This year’s Ig Nobels threw-up the usual assortment of wondrous oddities.…

Read More

The dapper drummer gathered no moss, but he did amass a fine collection of bespoke menswear

The old ‘the Beatles or the Stones’ debate continues ad infinitum among many music lovers as to which was the greatest band of all time. While just two Beatles are left standing, Stones fans will have noted with sadness the passing of the band’s drummer Charlie Watts recently, a man who stood out as an…

Read More

They put their right foot in, their right foot out –a dance of death that puzzled doctors for centuries

Following on from the last issue’s overview of the ‘Laughter Epidemic’ of Tanganyika, let’s touch on another condition with bizarre and confusing symptoms that baffled doctors when it manifested in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th Centuries. ‘Dancing mania’ – also known as ‘dancing plague’, ‘choreomania’, ‘St John’s Dance’, ‘tarantism’ and ‘St Vitus Dance’…

Read More

The naked truth about medical care in the ancient Olympic Games

As you read this, the slightly strange and crowd-free Olympic Games are drawing to a close. Of course, the medical assistance offered to all of the athletes is now world class, with the best sports medicine specialists and top-line monitoring and treatment equipment, as well as a dizzying array of physiotherapists, nutritionists, nurses, and so…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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’,…

Read More
Scroll To Top