Blog

Your name is Peter Cotton? Really? What was your mother thinking?

I was 47 years old when I arrived in USA and discovered that I was named after a rabbit. I could not understand why shop people and others fell over laughing when I gave my name, and started singing about hopping along a bunny trail at Easter. But surely Beatrix Potter was English and wrote…
Read more

The last time England beat Germany

England beat Germany at Football (US AKA Soccer) last week . The last time was just 55 years ago in 1966 in the final of the World Cup. I remember it well. I was trapped at that precise time at a fancy wedding reception in a large tent outside a posh house near London. No…
Read more

MUSC GI Update conference Oct 9

Our postponed Annual GI and Hepatology conference will be held in person at the Mills House Hotel in Charleston on October 9 2021. We are celebrating the 50 years of the GI Division, and hope that many MUSC Alumni will register and attend. There is an “International virtual” option for overseas friends. Hope to see…
Read more

Illustrating endoscopy 50 years ago

This story started with my left knee, which has troubled me intermittently for many years. Preparing for an appointment about it recently I thought that the new young specialist (they are all young now) might be interested to see my series of x-ray pictures from way back. Why am I telling you? I will explain.…
Read more

Reflecting on and with Harold Hopkins

Who was Harold Hopkins? And why reflections? I will explain. Like most gastroenterologists, and countless patients, I am greatly in his debt. Hopkins was largely responsible for laying the groundwork for the development of “fibrescopes” (Englishspeak for fiberscopes), the flexible medical instruments like colonoscopes with which many of my readers (if there are any) will…
Read more

Don’t give up your gall bladder too easily

Apologies to my medical readers, if any. This is all rather basic, but there is something to chew on towards the end. Surgical removal of the gall bladder is one of the commonest operations performed nowadays. Close to a million people undergo “cholecystectomy” every year in USA. There are several good indications for surgery, but…
Read more

Golfing down memory lane

If you kindly read about how golf (in USA) started in cHarleston, you may be wondering what sort of equipment might have been used at that time. I cannot tell you, except to read that “432 balls and 96 clubs were sent from the Scottish port Leith to Charleston in 1743”.  We do know that…
Read more

Golf started in cHarleston…honest

Joke? No. Typo? No. I will explain Most people think that the game of golf, as we now know and love/hate it, arose in Scotland. It has certainly blossomed there over more than 500 years. James II asked his parliament in 1457 to prohibit “golfe” because he needed the young folk to practice their archery…
Read more

Fred the Snake, bleeding, barbers and their striped poles

Thank you for reading my blogs, at least this one, at least this far. Most have had a medical theme, and this one will too if you persist beyond the first paragraphs. You may not know that I have also been writing books for children about Fred the friendly snake, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire.…
Read more

Time to retire the labels “Medicine” and “Surgery” after 400 years

When I was a young doctor, a long time ago, it was not difficult to distinguish medical physicians from surgeons. Physicians, at least in England, wore smart pin-striped suits and carried stethoscopes. They managed patients with sympathy and medicines. Surgeons wore pyjamas and gloves, and looked for things to connect, drain or remove. The distinctions…
Read more