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Peter Devitt is a Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide. His main clinical interests are in esophageal disease and the management of portal hypertension. In particular, he is involved in a number of studies on the role of neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in the management of esophageal cancer and the evaluation of different laparoscopic procedures in the treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
Peter Devitt has a major interest in medical education, and has written a number of texts and CD-ROMs for both undergraduates and postgraduates. Whilst he would like to be able to retire on the proceeds of the sales of these works, Dr Devitt realizes that he is no Bryce Courtney and will have to continue to wield the scalpel for some time yet.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Serendipity. At medical school I had a fascination with tropical medicine (frightening parasites with wonderful names), but somehow the Professor of Surgery thought I should be his intern, hauled me back on to the straight and narrow, and it went from there.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- There were many. Perhaps some of the role models from medical school have helped refine my quirks and idiosyncrasies - but for sheer hard work, drive, and enthusiasm, Professor Jim Thompson of Galveston, Texas, fired my interest in all things gastroenterological.
- Which research paper had most meaning?
- This has to be the observation published by Bayliss and Starling (Proc Roy Soc Lond 1902; 69: 352). A sound clinical observation can have much more meaning that a whole host of cold statistical numbers.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Life is too short to dwell on the negatives.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- I still seem to be making them
- How do you relax?
- Mozart, Mozart, and more Mozart.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Participation - walking. Watching - Aussie Rules.
- What is your best place in the world?
- No specific spot - but standing in a pristine Malaysian rain forest does wonders for body and soul.
- What is your favorite film?
- Any of the Marx Brothers' movies.
- What car do you drive?
- A venerable Mercedes 230 SL, circa 1965.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- Sony cybershot digital camera. I have now moved from a mere camera enthusiastic to a picture-collecting nut.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "The Name of the Rose".
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- The instant communication of high quality and carefully critiqued material is a winner. Roy Pounder's enthusiasm is infectious.