Category Archives: Medical

China WOW! 40 years on

We are just back from Shanghai, after attending a meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ERCP. It was kindly and brilliantly hosted by Professor Hu Bing (standing behind me at the dinner). I enjoyed sharing the podium with Joseph Leung and Sydney Chung, who founded the Endoscopy unit at Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, which became world-famous for its pioneering practice, teaching and research.


I signed some books (the “Tunnel” book in English and Chinese, and ERCP 2nd edition) for Honest Medical, the local Cook company agents.


Irise Mu was our helpful guide. We toured some local sights and indulged my love of exotic oriental food.


We love congee (a rice porridge), and the hotel had a huge variety of interesting bits and pieces to spice it up.

I could not help reminiscing about my first visit to (mainland) China just 40 years ago (I was in Hong Kong before that, in 1971). My visit in 1978 was with Basil Morson, the British pathologist, who gastroenterologists may remember proposed the adenoma-carcinoma sequence, which led eventually to the modern colonoscopy screening and polypectomy industry.  Behind and between us in the photo is Chen Minzhang. We invited him and 3 others to tour British GI centers the following year. He became Minister of Health of China, and facilitated many of my future visits, one including my daughter Nicola.                                                                                                   

The physical changes over the 40 years are extraordinary. Shanghai was a tired city in 1978, quietly remembering its dominance of Victorian times. Now a humming metropolis of 23 million, remarkably green, clean and tidy, with remarkable buildings.

The “Bund” was the fashionable financial area, looking across the river to suburbs and farm land.       Look at it now! Same place. Unbelievable


We saw the old and new, side by side, and looked down on the Bund from the 107th floor of that tallest building.


Some serious changes in transportation. Stalled on the narrow airport road in 1978, with Basil helping to mend a flat tire. Ever dominant bicycles.

Now great roads and modern cars. More high speed trains than the rest of the world together.  Electric cars have green tags.


So, glad to be home, as always, but grateful for the opportunity to see the amazing developments, and especially impressed with the progress in my own professional field, gastrointestinal endoscopy.

As always, Princess Marion did an awesome job at organizing and companioning…thank you

(And again apologies for not getting the images nicely aligned. They looked good in draft…)


Fifty years of ERCP

In case you might like to read my recent review “Fifty years of ERCP”, here is the link

50 years in the Bile duct and Pancreas

If you have 43 minutes to spare, here is a recording of my recent presentation at MUSC Medicine Grand rounds.    

Down English Memory lanes

Just back from three great weeks in England, visiting our special families, as described in my last blog. I took the opportunity to reconnect with several friends from the (very) distant past, and cannot resist sharing them with you. Joe Clayton and I met 60 years ago, in 1957, when we both represented Cambridge UniversityContinue Reading

Two new medical publications

A survey of credentialing for ERCP in the United States How much pain relief do patients expect after cholecystectomy?

Enhancing quality in GI health care

  How do you/we choose from all those who wish to serve us, whether restauranteurs, plumbers or doctors? How do we know which or who is good, or even excellent? Locally we can rely on our own experience and the recommendations of friends. But it is more difficult away from home. Some things like restaurantsContinue Reading

A National Health system in USA?

The current bizarre health care “discussions” in Washington prompt me to comment. I grew up with, and served in, the National Health Service in Britain. When initiated in 1947 it was relatively inexpensive, since medical care was much less complex and most people died soon after retirement, if not before. The funding did not keep upContinue Reading

South Africa part three – CapeTown

After the wonderful week in the game parks with family, Marion and I headed to CapeTown, where I was to be visiting professor at Groote Schuur hospital. We splurged by arriving on the famous Blue Train from Pretoria. 36 hours of pampering, with great (too much) food. The landscape was rather monotonous until the mountainousContinue Reading

Our EPISOD research project finishes after 9 years.

  This one is medical, but I will try to make it intelligible. EPISOD stands for “Evaluating Predictors and Interventions in Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction”. That pesky sphincter described by Mr Oddi is the valve that controls the flow of juices from the liver and pancreas into the small intestine (duodenum). If it overacts itContinue Reading

Honoring my best old friend

Honoring my best old friend

I went to visit Dick McCray this week. Sadly he is unwell. We met first in 1971 in New York. I was on my first trip to USA, traveling across west to east on my way back to England after spending 3 weeks in Japan looking at and learning a breakthrough technique that became knownContinue Reading