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The life of a young doctor

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Working at the Central Middlesex Hospital
Harold Lambert Physician
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I finished with the army, not having the slightest idea - really this isn't modesty, absolutely true - how that would go with medicine but I know I wanted to do medicine and when I came out of the army I went, about a week after I came out, I started work at the Central Middlesex Hospital which was an outstanding place with extremely good people and I worked for a remarkable man called Richard Asher who was very clever, very eccentric and we got on very well together. We enjoyed it, with a, with a New Zealander called Don Beaven who became great friends and it was a, it was a huge thing in my life. It was an incredibly busy place, incredibly busy. It was so busy you saw not only lots of the common things but quite a lot of the rare things and I look at my house jobs before the army and the year at the Central as a kind of great unformed nugget from which medicine sort of evolved. Yes. It was so busy. You saw everything all the time. It wasn't like the house jobs, by modern standards, cruelly sleepless because there was actually a rota but it was very busy.

British doctor Harold Lambert (1926-2017) spent his career tackling infectious diseases, helping in the development of pyrazinamide as an effective treatment for tuberculosis. He also published work on the rational use of antibiotics and was a trustee and medical advisor for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Listeners: Roger Higgs

Roger Higgs was an inner city GP for 30 years in south London, UK, and is Emeritus Professor of General Practice at Kings College London, where he set up the department.

He gained scholarships in classics at Cambridge but changed to medicine after a period of voluntary work in Kenya in 1962. He was Harold Lambert's registrar for 18 months in the early 1970s, the most influential and exciting episode in his hospital training. He set up his own practice in 1975. He helped to establish medical ethics as a practical and academic subject through teaching, writing and broadcasting, and jointly set up the 'Journal of Medical Ethics' in 1975.

His other work included studies in whole person assessment and narrative in general practice and development work in primary medical care: innovations here included intermediate care centres, primary care assessment in accident and emergency departments, teaching internal medicine in general practice and establishing counselling services in medicine.

He was made MBE in 1987 for this development work and now combines bioethics governance, teaching and writing with an arts based retirement.

Tags: Central Middlesex Hospital, Richard Asher, Don Bevon

Duration: 1 minute, 12 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008