a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


The valuable work of The Meningitis Research Foundatiom


What I did once I'd retired
Harold Lambert Physician
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

I wasn't... in the event very sorry to stop doing clinical work for reasons of administrative hassle and feeling it was all... getting a bit much for me, all the amount of stuff going around my head and more and more that I didn't really understand. And so that wasn't sorry, although at times I very much wanted to go back and my successor, who's close very often rings me up and we chat over a problem about clinical medicine in a way, which is for me theoretical. But I... I was a chap who was the Professor of Medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine heard I was retiring and asked me if I'd like to go teach there, which I did for many years actually, about maybe 12 or 14 years, maybe more, I don't know, a long time after retiring. And I mainly taught in the Diploma of Tropical Medicine, the Masters. Obviously I didn't treat it, but I said to them I'll do anything, but I won't do worms. You know, I won't do things I don't like and don't understand. But I did the things mainly I, you know, knew a bit about, and I just loved it. I just loved it. They were all postgraduate and that was another change in my teaching. When I was young and a registrar, I liked nothing better than teaching brand new students who didn't know anything about anything, partly because I think they were brands to be saved from the burning, and partly because they had very interesting notions, which of course people even at registrar had usually stopped thinking about and some of them were rubbish, but you were thereby thinking in a different way. And then I, as I got older I really much more enjoyed postgraduate teaching, teaching some not, not from feeling about the students, it's was just I got, I felt didn't quite feel I was as much in rapport with them as I got older and I preferred doing postgraduate teaching. And the London School, they were from all over the world, absolutely all over the world. They were very motivated. They'd come a long way, they were paying a lot of money and they were burningly interested in teaching and also they came from completely different, diverse medical backgrounds which was quite humbling in a way because you realised even after a huge number of years doing medicine how narrow your actual medical base was. They'd done, oh, all sorts of things and I... I love those, really interesting. And I did some other things like going on with the writing a lot, many years after and some lecturing.

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: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Duration: 2 minutes, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008