A little bit about me
I still reckon the best things come in small packages. I was very small and sickly after I was born on 14th October 1958 in St Helier Hospital, Carshalton, Surrey. After a childhood during which I was perpetually ill, and permanently had chest trouble, I was finally diagnosed as having cystic fibrosis at the age of 10. By this time I had set my heart on becoming a doctor, but was strongly advised against it. With the support of my school, I managed to get to University, and studied Microbiology at the University of Surrey. After getting a first class honours degree, I studied Medicine at St George's Hospital Medical School, in London, and qualified in 1985 with Distinction in Medicine.
After house officer posts in general medicine and general surgery at St George's and Epsom District Hospital, I entered an SHO training scheme in general medicine at St George's, followed by an SHO post in respiratory medicine at the Brompton Hospital, London. I then moved to the West Midlands, as a Registrar in general and respiratory medicine at Good Hope and Heartlands Hospitals. In 1988 I passed the Membership exam of the Royal College of Physicians. Illness forced me to leave clinical hospital medicine, and I trained in Public Health Medicine on the West Midlands Regional Training Scheme. I passed my Membership exam for the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 1992, and was appointed Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham in 1992.
I worked on a combination of research in respiratory and environmental epidemiology, teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students in medicine and environmental health, and lots of other related academic interests. I was course director for the Master of Public Health course at the University of Birmingham until taking ill health retirement in April 2006. I continue to teach at the University, do some research, and help to run a company from home. I have recently trained to be an aerobics instructor.
I have lots of hobbies and interests, including sports (particularly cycling, skiing and aerobics), art and painting, my beautiful pet cats and my greatest passion in life, my incurable addiction to motorbikes. I help to run the Quick Quacks motorcycle club for biking doctors and dentists. I also run a number of web sites, and run e-mail lists for cystic fibrosis professionals, our own department, and Quick Quacks.
I was amazed to be awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List in 2004 for services to Medicine.