Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

David Nott: Drawn to the sound of gunfire

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 12 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2016

In the latest in its series asking the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters, the BMJ spoke to the so called “Indiana Jones of surgery”


David Nott is a London surgeon inexorably drawn to the sound of gunfire. For two decades he has taken unpaid leave almost every year to provide help and to train doctors in war zones, starting in Sarajevo in 1993 and most recently in Syria. He operates, lectures, and innovates, cutting death rates in Syria by stemming bleeding and controlling sepsis before operating. He is unmarried and without ties, which is one reason why he is prepared to take risks. He has now launched a training programme, …

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