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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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