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Continuity of care


The progress of medical knowledge
Harold Lambert Physician
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There's this conflict with an individual book written by one or two or three people, and this multi-author thing which it has then become inevitably. And I suppose it is quite a good illustration of the 'progress', if that's the word, about medical knowledge because I've got all the editions of the book and the first one, which was in 1953 by Barber and Garrod was quite a small format book of, I think, 332 pages. And the last one, which is the eighth edition is an enormous volume written by, I don't know, 30, 40 people, with about 1000 pages. So there you have one bit of medicine and antibiotics, so of course you can't know it all, obviously not, and I suppose what I'm not up to date in is the tricks of how to get at stuff more easily in a way that the modern generation does. I do use the web and stuff but really getting, because that's got its own danger because you can get a lot of stuff from the web and not really actually think through what you're... want to do.

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: progress, medical knowledge, textbook

Duration: 1 minute, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008