Judith Harvey

Judith Harvey was a research scientist, ran the VSO programme in Papua New Guinea and taught in a Liverpool comprehensive school before going to medical school. She has been a partner, a salaried GP and a locum and an LMC chair. She started a charity which for nine years enabled medical students to go to Cuba for their electives.

Judith is a long-time supporter of NASGP and has been providing regular articles for The Sessional GP for over 12 years, her reflections ranging widely on practical, ethical and cultural aspects of health and medicine.


Podcast | Quiet please

September 5th, 2019

The Royal Opera House orchestra was rehearsing Die Walküre. For more than three hours violist Chris Goldscheider sat in front of twenty brass players belting out Wagner at 90dB. His hearing was perman...

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Podcast | Now wash your hands

June 27th, 2019

In post-war Italy TB was still rife and notices in buses commanded “No Spitting”. In Britain in 1946 the message “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases” promoted the use of handkerchiefs to catch the ger...

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Fringe medicine

October 10th, 2018

Medics have a long-standing relationship with the annual August circus that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Medical students reprise their pantomimes as reviews. Specialty registrars mine their stor...

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I, Robot BM BCh (Oxon)

May 11th, 2017

How long before machines are cleverer than us? The first robots were clockwork novelties. Now robots – named for the Russian word robotnic, meaning worker – can outperform humans at ever more tasks. B...

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On the scent of cancer

August 27th, 2016

Ever since dogs found hunter-gatherers’ campsites a good place to scavenge and decided to adopt humans, we have created roles for them: hunting, protecting property, mountain rescue, companionship, an...

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The art of diagnosis

May 20th, 2016

Diagnosis, as we know, depends on history and examination. A work of art lacks the former, but it’s interesting to consider what artists notice. In the ancient civilizations of Greece and India the sc...

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An Dotair Mòr

December 12th, 2015

GP sought to establish first practice on island. No electricity. No telephone. Nearest hospital 12 hours away by boat, weather permitting. Obstetric skills and Gaelic essential. That, in essence, was ...

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Children of a Lesser God

November 15th, 2015

There are more than 800,000 people in this country who were born deaf or lost their hearing before they learned to speak. But until recently totally deaf people were obliged to struggle to talk like t...

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What does it take to change the game?

August 12th, 2015

When is a good idea truly revolutionary? The Oxford English Dictionary defines a game-changer as ‘an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current way of doing or thinking ...

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Promises, promises

June 16th, 2015

It’s now a month since the general election, and it didn’t turn out as most people expected. But that doesn’t mean that the outcome for the NHS will be very different. How many of the rash promises th...

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Funny glasses

May 1st, 2015

Short sightedness isn’t a disease, yet myopia is the commonest cause of poor sight worldwide. In the west, it is usually no more than a minor inconvenience alleviated by corrective eyewear, but in cou...

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How the dead help the living

February 17th, 2015

Until 2004 it was illegal in this country to practise surgical techniques on cadavers. Dissection, yes, but not surgery. Throughout history attitudes to dead bodies have been shrouded in paradox. In e...

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Blood; don’t bank on it

December 29th, 2014

How about a night out at the movies to watch a black-and-white documentary about a mobile blood collection unit in rural Russia? Well, Mamma Mia it isn’t, but Blood turned out to be fascinating. The t...

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You Can’t Go Home Again

September 16th, 2014

I have to declare a very strong interest. My husband’s play, Warehouse of Dreams, about the dilemmas of running a refugee camp, opens at a fringe theatre in London in November 2014. Being swept up in ...

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The Right Stuff?

June 18th, 2014

There are doctors who work in war zones. There are doctors who spend their lives in laboratories. There are doctor managers, doctor novelists, doctor comedians. A medical training can lead you almost ...

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Are you in it for the money?

May 15th, 2014

People try lots of ways to get other people to work harder: bonuses, performance-related pay, incentive schemes, targets, QOF, profit shares, fee for service, commission, piece work, payment by result...

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The Doctor Factory

March 10th, 2014

After the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro made health and education a priority. In 1959 he said “I invite everyone who has the vocation to study medicine.” Last year, as well as the 4,800 students from...

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

December 20th, 2013

A third-rate artist, a failed seminarian, a drop-out teacher. They don’t sound a threatening trio. But between them they were responsible for the deaths of around 150 million people. (more…)

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Why get your genome sequenced?

August 12th, 2013

I confess I don’t fully understand what sequencing the human genome means for us. Somewhere between the Secret Of Life and a tall story, it appears. molecular biology, which for 20 years has been on t...

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Austerity kills

June 24th, 2013

I was a medical student. The SHO presented the case, and I asked what the patient did for a living. “He’s one of the three million.” It was the Thatcher era and unemployment was higher than it had bee...

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