medicine

Mental health interventions are often compartmentalised into psychological and pharmacological approaches, and there has been much debate as to which is superior. Methodological differences make their efficacy difficult to compare, and...

How do we select people to become healthcare professionals? Psychologists, medical doctors and other healthcare professionals have demanding jobs that significantly impact on the public. The professions, and academic psychologists, have a duty to produce evidence on who...

Two years ago, with retirement approaching, I thought I should look back on my career – almost four decades of neurosurgery – and reflect on what I had learned. This meant, of course, thinking about the many mistakes I had made over the years, since we learn little from...

Brain surgeons must often manipulate the brain and sometimes remove parts of it. The surgery involved is often much cruder than popularly supposed. The brain has the consistency of jelly – it seems something of a cruel miracle that thought and feeling, an understanding of...

Can you remember how many times your dentist has reassured you, for example, during an anaesthetic injection? Do you suspect that the phrase from the dentist ‘It won’t hurt’ only serves as a warning that it is going to be painful, even though the dentist appears very genuine...

C HARLES Myers (1873–1946) had a formidable range of talents. After a double first in natural sciences at Cambridge, and then graduating as a doctor at Bart’s, he went on an expedition to the Torres Straits where he was one of the first practitioners of ethnomusicology (...

My patients are sick. They occasionally die. They are delirious with fatigue, illicit substances or medicine. They are in pain and have little sense of their bodies. To sit up is to lose consciousness. The ability to attend, process...