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A graduate of Bristol University, England, Dr Walmsley entered gastroenterology after initially pursuing an old-fashioned training in general internal medicine. He worked with Dr Bob Allan and Professor Alexander Williams in the old General Hospital, Birmingham, England where his interest in inflammatory bowel disease was kindled. He then went on to join the IBD Research Group under Dr Andrew Wakefield at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London. While there he completed a MD thesis in conjunction with the late Dr Martin Lockwood, in Cambridge, England. Having always been interested in teaching and training of junior doctors he has now managed to combine his professional and domestic activities as a gastroenterologist, physician, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- Straight out of medical school I wasn't thinking particularly of doing gastroenterology. I enjoyed so much of medicine that I thought about going into general practice. Then, like all medical graduates with a touch of the type A personality traits, I flirted with cardiology. But I guess my initial house jobs, working with Richard Harvey and Roger Celestin, must have made an impression on me, and I found gastroenterology stimulating and a lot of fun, so I continued.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- I have learnt many things from many teachers. At school I admired my biology teacher's confidence to be 'different', but I also admire the patience of Bob Allan; the enthusiasm of James Neuberger, the logical argument of Owen Epstein, and the application of scientific knowledge of Goeff Dusheiko.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- In my present practice it has to be the series of papers by the Asian Hepatitis Lamivudine Trial Groups helping define the role of Lamivudine in chronic Hepatitis B. (e.g. N Eng J Med 1998; 339: 61-8 and Hepatology 1999; 30: 770-4).
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- To bare no grudges and have no regrets.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- To fall while skiing and rupture my anterior cruciate ligament.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To complete an étape du tour (a stage of the Tour de France course opened to the public).
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not to have been at my little sister's last concert before she died.
- How do you relax?
- I cycle (mainly off road), and play the double bass.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- Outside the Britannia Inn in Elterwater (the Lake District, England) with a pint of Bluebird bitter, after a hard days mountain biking over the fells.
- What are your favorite films?
- "Bladerunner" (director's cut), and "Toy Story 2".
- What car do you drive?
- Isuzu Bighorn Lotus (please, no sniggering).
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My webcam
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- "The Black Album" (Hanif Kureishi), "The God of Small Things" (Arundhati Roy), and "Lord of the Rings". (for the fifth time).
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- By good timing - Roy asked for a little help, and I had a few minutes to spare. . .