Observations BMJ Confidential

Chris Shaw: Pain-in-the-ass persistent

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4455 (Published 09 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4455


Chris Shaw, professor of neurology and neurogenetics at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, felt ambivalent about a career in medicine until he met his first patients. Privileged access to their hopes and fears, he says, makes treating them more than the sum of their symptoms—and, as a specialist in motor neurone disease (MND), he is privy to more hopes and fears than most doctors. For the past decade he has led the creation of a new research facility, the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, which opens this month and brings together 250 scientists and clinicians working on neurological and psychiatric disorders.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a sheep farmer in the South Island of New Zealand, like my Uncle Eion.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Probably my mother; she brought up three boys on …

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