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Ten things I wish I’d known when I was 25
  1. P D Welsby
  1. Edinburgh (

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    1. Twig ’n’ berries are a County Durham euphemism for male genitalia. As a junior doctor I once advised a patient who told me that his twig ’n’ berries were not working to pour on cold tea (my wife’s cure for ailing houseplants).

    2. You can ask questions of examiners “Could this be...?” and they will tell you the answer.

    3. Patients lead much more interesting and amazing lives than doctors “You did what, where, how often...?”

    4. Medical school does not prepare you for a free living existence. No one taught me how to put up a shelf or how to hammer in a screw (clockwise is best).

    5. Mosquitoes can fly upside down, backwards while dodging raindrops. Humans, who think they have superior abilities, think that they can avoid mosquito bites and don’t need to take malaria prophylaxis.

    6. In a democracy we can hire and fire politicians. They are our servants, not our masters.

    7. The fact that something needs a formal trial to demonstrate that it is statistically objectively better than placebo proves only that it is better than nothing.

    8. A suggestion that a lumbar puncture might be required cures most headaches.

    9. Teaching is not as sexy or meritorious as research or sitting on committees.

    10. Medical journals are usually best read from back to front. Information, interest, and comment are maximal at the back whereas industry tends to be to the fore.