Category: Medical

The Middlesex Hospital – what sort of a name is that?

Some of the adventures I have recounted in recent months happened while I was on the Consultant staff of The Middlesex Hospital in London (1973-86). You may wonder about the name, which could be misunderstood. It was called The Middlesex because it was in the County of Middlesex, now part of the city of London.…
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Need some GI updates, with CME?

The Medical University of SC is now offering its weekly Gastroenterology/Hepatology grand rounds virtually at 7am on Wednesdays. Tomorrow, David Whitcomb of Pittsburg will speaks about “Early and effective management of pancreatitis”. Next week I will present “How flexible endoscopy began”. Anyone wishing to participate can contact me or Cindy Peeples at

So many royal connections!

I am running short on anecdotes about royal patients, but do have some other royal connections, about which you are no doubt curious, and maybe envious. Let’s start with Kings. I was born in the little village of Kingstone, near Hereford, in the west of England. Note “Cotton’s Meadow”, which was indeed a meadow across…
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Royal and famous patients 7. A rash dilemma

It is a stretch to call this one a royal patient, but it might amuse. For a while I was a member of the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve. I may have mentioned before that our whole family was into gliding, big time in my youth. When I got to Cambridge University I found, like…
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Royal and famous patients. 6. Bollywood star

A Bollywood mega star was in the news recently, having contracted and happily survived COVID19 Amitabh Bachchan had another close brush with mortality almost 40 years ago, having suffered an injury while filming on location. The severity of his illness led to uncontrolled bleeding, suspected to be coming from an acute stomach “stress ulcer”. I…
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Royal and famous patients 5. A confused politician

I was about to perform an endoscopy procedure on a prominent member of the British cabinet who was known to enjoy a drink or two, who, also like Churchill, had changed political party allegiances several times over his career. When I asked him to turn onto his left side, he turned to the right. He…
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Royal and famous patients 4. Movie stars

Although working in the National Health Service at The Middlesex hospital in London, I (like many) had to run a small private practice on the side to survive. I learned a lesson rather early from one patient who claimed to be a famous film star in his country in (or next to) the Mediterranean. He…
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Royal and famous patients 3. A royal stone

This story starts with a phone call in May 1994 from the embassy of an oil-rich country in the Middle East. “We want you to come and treat an important person. I have arranged for a plane to collect you tomorrow. Bring any assistants and equipment that you need. Would that be convenient?” Hell no,…
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Our ERCP book. New edition

I take a pause from spilling beans on royal and famous patients to let y’all know that Joseph Leung and I have just published the 3rd edition of our ERCP book. For anyone interested I am pasting the introduction. Developments in ERCP over 50 years Attempts at endoscopic cannulation of the papilla of Vater were…
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Royal and famous patients 2. Gold watches

In the early 1980s the gulf countries had a lot of oil money but very few health resources. As a result, many patients came to London (and Germany) for treatment. They were certainly welcomed by those with private practices in Harley Street and elsewhere, including me. For a while I was the primary contact for…
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