Medical Advances and their Implications

Harrison, C. V. (1974-02-26)


PATHOLOGY is, in my opinion, the most Interesting and enjoyable branch of medicine. It has only one disadvantage, namely, that so many people have little idea of what pathology is. The late Professor H. R. Dean of Cambridge, one of England's greatest pathologists, once said: "To a pathologist all things medical are pathology." I think this is true but it does not get us any further. In particular, it does not help one's unfortunate wife who is regularly embarrassed by new acquaintances who say "I hear your husband is a doctor, where does he practise?" To which she replies "He is not in practice, he is a pathologist." This frequently elicits the reply "What is that?" "Well, he does post-mortems"-"Oh murders and things". At which point one's wife gives up. In the presence of an erudite academic audience may I hasten to add that I am not a forensic pathologist and that I have managed to do post-mortems for the last forty-odd years without doing one on a murder case, or to be scientifically accurate. without my recognising that it was a murder.