I enjoy a sense of purpose. Our former CMO Harry Burns is right in pointing out that the human body functions best with a sense of direction and clear aims. I like working with people to get things done that are important. I have a variety of roles, in public health, general practice, sports and exercise medicine and working with good people and getting things done is what unites these. My main job at present is for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The people are tremendous.
What is the best decision you have eve taken?
To do a bit more exercise. I remember playing football, and not being fit enough to track a player back who scored against my team. I got an earful from the coach, so started to do some running to get a bit fitter. I find regular exercise be that a walk with my wife and baby or a jog, or playing sport with friends helps me unwind and puts a big fat smile on my face.
What is the most important message you like to get across about cancer prevention?
We can make a huge difference as health professionals. Hippocrates said that prevention is better than cure, and I think we have lost sight of this, and provide great treatment, but less input into prevention. This
should be the big show in town for the UK for the next 20 years, and we can help drive this forward together.
What would people find surprising about you?
I once ran 4300 miles from John O’Groats to the Sahara desert, although was passed by a donkey on the way.
How do you relax?
I love going to swimming lessons with my daughter Nina who is 5 months, or watching the football or sport with friends. My wife and I like to go for sushi each Sunday that we are home.
Five a day?
I eat like a rogue elephant as I run about 80-90 miles a week. I probably eat about 10 bananas and 20 oranges a week along with a load of peaches, plums, and green stuff. It’s maybe not the healthiest but I love custard and bananas, if I’ve been out and about in the hills on a really cold day.
Choose one thing that you consider represents the best of Scotland
INNOVATION. Scots invented penicillin, MRI, anaesthesia as well as the 3 best friends of the couch potato – TV, telephone and the fridge. And there are great ideas coming out of Scotland at present worth supporting like the SCPN, and national efforts on physical inactivity.
This interview was published in Volume 6, Issue 2 of our Newsletter. Read the whole issue here:
Our Spring 2015 issue has been Spring cleaned with a refreshed design, and features the latest cancer prevention research, with evidence linking liver cancer to body weight, challenging interventions within an obese society, "Children's Charter" to work towards a tobacco free generation, and more.