Michael S Norell, MD FRCP, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist & PCI Programme Director, The Heart and Lung Centre, Wolverhampton, UK
The study of heart disease - cardiology - is an immensely satisfying branch of medicine. The heart is just so tangible; we can see it, touch it, hear it, and when all else fails, we can always manage to put a tube inside and take X-ray pictures of it. Because we try to make sense of a three-dimensional organ by taking two dimensional snapshots, we need a variety of angles to get the complete image, and so often use an oblique view.
Day to day life in a cardiac unit is the same; often mundane, sometimes dramatic, but always amenable to being examined with a different slant. How do common cardiac drugs get their name? What sort of music do surgeons choose to listen to as they delve amongst our innards? Why can going to cardiac conferences be so damned irritating and just how close to reality are all those TV hospital dramas? What personalised number plates adorn doctors' cars, which accents best suit which specialties and what should you call a disease in order to ensure that it is your name that is immortalised in the medical textbooks for years to come?
This collection of musings touches on these, as well as many other aspects of cardiology. They do not attempt to make sense of any of them; they aim only to broaden the mind a little by taking a sideways glance at medical life.