Caroline Elton is a chartered psychologist. The larger part of Also Human relates to her work as head of the careers unit responsible for supporting trainee doctors in London. Prior to taking up this position, she spent some time shadowing senior clinicians on ward rounds as part of an initiative to ‘challenge outdated models of medical education’ (which sounds almost perfectly designed to wind up senior medics). She describes something of that role here, but mainly frames her chapters around case histories of doctors struggling with career choices. Take Lola, for instance, who trained to be an oncologist but had to change fields after she experienced intense distress while treating cancer patients – in large part because her own father had died of the illness. Or Sarah, a trainee obstetrician whose own fertility treatment failed, which left her feeling useless and dreading the prospect of delivering other women’s babies.
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'Too many historians sneer at our forbears; scolding them if they follow the customs of their own day ... tut-tutting if the poor things are detected having a little fun.'
From the archive, Mary Clive on medieval travellers.
'Reading Taylor’s book has also made me join a book club. I did not like the January book; I did enjoy drinking gin while saying why.'
@clamorousvoice explores the history of women readers.
'When the language starts functioning as a character in fiction, when it is there drawing attention to itself ... It’s not anything that anybody really takes seriously.'
Our interview with Anthony Burgess from 1983.