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Observations BMJ Confidential

Chris Butler: Wants to snuggle up to bacteria

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 09 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1770


Chris Butler is professor of primary care at the University of Oxford, professor of primary care medicine at Cardiff University, and a practising GP in Mountain Ash, south Wales. He is the only GP on the Medical Research Council’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Board and is on the jury for the Longitude Prize. His patients know better than to expect an antibiotic when they have a cold, as he is leading several trials in the field of common infections, including a new trial of the cost effectiveness of antivirals in primary care as part of the EU funded PREPARE consortium. The growth of antibiotic resistance, he believes, is one of the most important public health issues of the day—the “global warming of medicine.” His solutions include better ways of determining who will and won’t benefit from antibiotics at the point of care and of living more harmoniously with our environment, including microbes.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a fireman, actor, writer, paediatrician, physician, psychiatrist, GP, and then an academic GP, in that order.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

All of the great clinicians at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, who I was so privileged to be taught by: Ames, …

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