This opus started when friends suggested that I should document some of the stories that I like to tell at dinner tables about unusual and mainly amusing experiences that I have had while travelling to give lectures and demonstrations in more than 50 countries. However, having started writing, I could not resist expanding the project to include some details of my professional journey, including interactions with some famous patients, and to reflect on my luck in meeting and working with so many special people. Some of them have kindly responded to my invitation to add their own anecdotes.
As obvious from the lists of chapters, it has also been an opportunity for me to pontificate on topics as diverse as the importance of golf, the confusions of cricket, the relationship between doctors and industry, the future of endoscopy, the organization of digestive specialties, and whether I am now British or American. Included also are some of my endoscopic poems and songs, which are certainly unlikely to be published elsewhere.
The book was published in early 2011, and has been well received. Meinhard Classen, father of modern European endoscopy was kind enough to say “This book is just wonderful, historical and entertaining. Endoscopists all over the world should read it”.
Over 3000 copies have been sold already, including some bulk orders from India, Hong Kong and Australia. It is being republished in Chinese, although I’m not sure how they will deal with some topics, like the complexities of cricket.
All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a fund designed to support training in Advanced Endoscopy, details of which are given below.
The book got a boost at the annual “Advanced Endoscopy Update” that Rob Hawes and I organize every year in Charleston, immediately after the big International meeting “DDW” (Digestive Disease Week). This update, AKA “The Beach Meeting” was special for me, since I chose to do my last clinical procedure, an ERCP, on live TV during the meeting and beamed to the audience at Wild Dunes. Both the patient and I emerged unscathed. In basketball tradition, my x-ray protective apron was “retired”, ie hung up in the procedure room. Many of my prior trainees attended from around the world. All received a book, and were subjected to a pitch for the fund by Ian Taylor and Fran Tedesco.
The book has recently been published in Chinese!