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The benefits of studying medicine after Word War II


Influential teachers and going to Cambridge
Harold Lambert Physician
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[Q] Were there any special science teachers that, that...

Oh yeah, there were very influential ones, yeah, yeah. And, one of them, a man called Pask, has been mentioned many times by Jonathan Miller, who is of course much younger than me but was a Pauline as well and in Jonathan's... some of his utterances he harks back to this inspirational teacher really.

[Q] And was it his style or...

I don't really know. He wasn't very factual. He didn't sort of, kind of get you geared up for the university exams all that much but, he did inspire you with what the subject was about, I think.

[Q] Yeah. And then was Cambridge an open window or... I mean was it exciting or was it...

It was exciting but it was a difficult time because of... I went up a year before the end of the war and, for the two years after the end of the war, thereabouts anyway. Yeah, there was that. And, it was... I now look at it as rather a sort of cloudy time but I suppose I did enjoy it. I listened to a lot of music, made a lot of friends, some of whom are still friends and really enjoyed the work actually.

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: Cambridge, St Paul's School, Jonathan Wolfe Miller

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008