Life In A Dead End Job — Andy Parsons — 22nd September 2014.

Andy gave us an account of how he star­ted his med­ical career.

This began at the age of 17 when, through family con­nec­tions, he was able to attend phle­bot­omy ses­sions at Pinderfields and Chesterfield hos­pit­als.  He sub­sequently star­ted a med­ical course at Sheffield University whilst still only 17.  He then spent time relat­ing his exper­i­ences as a med­ical stu­dent, which included an elect­ive year in Kenya at a Nairobi Mission Hospital.  Here he came across cases of mal­aria, pel­lagra, tetanus and marasmus. During his free time he climbed 16,400 feet on Mount Kenya and also vis­ited the Masai Mara game reserve.

Returning home he took his final exam­in­a­tions and qual­i­fied in 1974 as MB.ChB. sub­sequently he registered with the GMC in 1975. During his junior doctor days he did place­ments at Sheffield Royal Infirmary, Sheffield Royal Hospital, Thornbury and Chesterfield cas­u­alty depart­ment.

He then decided to have a career in patho­logy, spe­cial­ising in his­to­path­o­logy.  He gained his MRC.Path. in 1982 and in 1984 he became senior lec­turer and con­sult­ant in his­to­path­o­logy. After relat­ing his path­way to becom­ing a con­sult­ant patho­lo­gist he told us more about patho­lo­gical cases offer­ing fur­ther slides to illus­trate his points.

He car­ried out research into the effect of andro­gens in the devel­op­ment of liver cancer, and then decided that his main interest lay in oph­thal­mic patho­logy and in 1993 he became senior lec­turer and con­sult­ant in oph­thal­mic patho­logy.

He iden­ti­fied, during his work, cases of melan­oma in the eyes (which caused ret­inal detach­ment) and tox­o­plas­mosis where the worm (ori­gin­ated from dog faeces) even­tu­ally found its way into the eye. He became involved in eye trauma cases, non-accidental trauma, mainly in the con­text of child abuse (direct or indir­ect).

Shaken baby head syn­drome causes blood to occur in the eye and 80% of shaken babies have ret­inal haem­or­rhage.  He stated that whilst this could prove that the child had been abused, there was also another pos­sible cause of having blood in the eyes i.e. from a dif­fi­cult child­birth.

Many legal prob­lems could present them­selves so the patho­lo­gist had to be cer­tain of his find­ings.

Thanks to Andy for his inter­est­ing present­a­tion.