Observations BMJ Confidential

Andy Haines: Conspicuous consumption is a pet hate

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3801 (Published 11 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3801


Andy Haines, 67, is an epidemiologist with a special interest in primary care and the climate’s impact on health. He was an academic GP at University College London from 1987 to 2000, and then until 2010 he was the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which in 2009 was the first UK institution to win the Gates Foundation’s $1m Award for Global Health. His research has focused on how the effects of climate change can be mitigated by using low carbon technologies and how policies on transport, energy, food, agriculture, and housing can have health benefits.

What was your earliest ambition?

To become a doctor.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Our family GP, the late Gwyneth Olive, who inspired me to become a doctor. She worked singlehandedly, delivered me (apparently it was difficult), and treated me at home for pneumonia as a child.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

It occurred when I was a junior doctor working unsupervised in an emergency department overseas. The experience taught me humility, the …

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