Recently, in Tromsø, the Arctic capital of Norway, I came across the name Carleton Gajdusek. That name took me back many years and halfway round the globe to a village in the Fore district of Papua New Guinea.
Did you know that captopril was derived from the venom of the deadly Brazilian pit viper? Since it went on the market in 1981 captopril and its successor ACE inhibitors have probably saved many more lives than have been lost to pit vipers.
Judith Harvey has written regular articles for the Sessional GP, the newsletter of the National Association of Sessional GPs, for over twelve years. Her reflections range widely on practical, ethical and cultural aspects of health and medicine.
Judith was a research scientist, ran the VSO programme in Papua New Guinea and taught in a Liverpool comprehensive school before going to medical school. She has been a partner, a salaried GP and a locum, an LMC chair and a long-time supporter NASGP. For eight years her charity, Cuba Medical Link, enabled medical students to go to Cuba for their electives.