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Professor Michael J G Farthing DSc(Med), MD, FRCP, FMedSci, is the Executive Dean and Professor of Medicine at the University of Glasgow.
He graduated from the University College Hospital Medical School, and, following training posts in Cambridge, returned to London and St Bartholomew's Hospital.
Between 1980 and 1983 Professor Farthing was a Wellcome Tropical Lecturer and held overseas posts in India, Boston, and Costa Rica. He returned to the UK as a Wellcome Senior Lecturer at St Bartholomew's Hospital and was appointed as Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of Department in 1990.
From 1995 to 1997 Professor Farthing was Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Medicine, and was appointed to his present position in 2000. He is currently the Editor of Gut.
His major research interests include the pathogenesis of intestinal infection and the mechanisms and control of intestinal secretion.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Over-exposure to the speciality as a medical student, pre-registration house officer, senior house officer, and registrar!
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- There were two. Firstly, Professor John Lennard Jones: John taught me as a medical student and pre-registration house officer, and subsequently supervised my first published research project at St Mark's Hospital. Secondly, the late Sir Anthony Dawson: Tony supervised the work for my MD thesis and was my sponsor as a Wellcome Tropical lecturer and subsequently as a Wellcome Senior Lecturer at the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital. Both were inspirational, original thinkers who introduced me to the discipline of scientific method and the need for evidence in clinical practice. Both practised evidenced-based medicine before it became trendy!
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- A randomized controlled trial of propranolol for systemic hypertension by Professor Brian Prichard and colleagues (Prichard B N, Gillam P M. Treatment of hypertension with propranolol. BMJ 1969; 1(635): 7-16). I studied this paper as a pharmacology student; it was the first paper that introduced me to the importance of the controlled clinical trial in changing clinical practice.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Imagination, application, and hard work are more important than IQ.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To publish a novel.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That I am not 2 inches taller.
- How do you relax?
- By taking an intercontinental flight to an exotic location.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Middle distance running.
- What is your best place in the world?
- My London home.
- What is your favorite film?
- "Les enfants du Paradis"- directed by Marcel Carné (Pseud's Corner).
- What car do you drive?
- Mercedes 500SL - 18 years old!
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My laptop computer.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "Lady with Lapdog and other stories" by Anton Chekhov.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- Roy Pounder told me I would become a dot.com millionaire!