Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Henry Marsh: Thinking fast and slow

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 29 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2233


Henry Marsh is a neurosurgeon celebrated for a work of literature. His candid reflections on the risky business of poking his nose into other people’s heads, Do No Harm: Studies of Life, Death and Brain Surgery, was published to huge acclaim in 2014. It proved that there are exceptions to the general rule that surgeons are born arrogant, learn arrogance, or have arrogance thrust upon them. He is a consultant at St George’s Hospital in London who remembers his mistakes more vividly than his successes. He has refreshingly little time for bureaucratic interference, however well meant it may be.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a poet. Fortunately, unlike the Vogons in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I abandoned this early on.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Raoul Wallenberg, …

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