Category: Medical

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…
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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…
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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.…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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.…
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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…
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Do you have a two-bit pancreas? You well might…better read on.

About 8% of people, at least in Western countries, are born with the pancreas in two pieces, so called “pancreas divisum”. It is about as common as left-handedness, and ten times that of red hair. How come, and who cares? Some technical stuff to get started. The human pancreas is formed from two parts which…
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Do not miss Nagi Reddy this Wednesday

Nagi Reddy, superstar founder and chair of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Hyderabad will zoom speak on ESWL of Biliary and Pancreatic stones at our weekly MUSC grand rounds this wednesday at 7 am EST. He has by far the greatest experience in the world. Not to be missed…. Access free at