The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Few movies lodged themselves in my childhood brain the way Fantasia did. A psychedelic 1940s Disney animation set to a thundering score played by a maniacal Philadelphia Orchestra, it broke artistic ground as quickly as it laid it. The scene that branded itself on my memory, though, was that of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Set to…


Olfaction in the Time of COVID

Recently I listened to a trainee presenting a case, during which he told me the patient’s urine smelled like cancer. Back up here! What do you mean, I asked him? But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t put it into words. It just does, he said. Smell is certainly one of our odder…


The Eye of the Beholder

While the world’s attention is focused on one disease, others are enjoying a quiet resurgence, unobserved by the spotlight. Since 2000, several sexually transmitted infections have been re-establishing a global foothold, in both numbers and resistance. Diseases that were mostly relegated to dusty pathology texts need to be coaxed back out and into our diagnostic…


Perfectly Simple

Hope is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all –   Emily Dickinson, the exquisite American poet—prolific in life, but only published after death—was masterful at cloaking the complex in the simple. Take the above stanza, written…


Tackling Vaccine Hesitancy

I have long been fascinated by conspiracy theories. Until now, though, I had found them simply issues of amusing curiosity, academic side-notes glancing off the serious world of evidentiary science. But, as they say, [email protected]#t just got real. There is only one exit door for the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is through exhaustive vaccination of…


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About the author

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. Also, she writes.

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