My name is Philip Berry and I am a medical consultant (in gastroenterology, hepatology and general medicine) seeking to improve public understanding about medical decision making. Here you will find posts that provide insights into how (I think) doctors think.

The blog has been up and running since August 2012. Recurring subjects include end of life care, resuscitation decisions, assisted dying and the challenge of providing compassionate care in busy environments. I also explore education, training and the nature of the medical ‘apprenticeship’. A recent innovation has been the Interactive Ward Ethics feature, in which you link into a parallel site and are asked to play the role of a trainee doctor by making decisions in difficult ethical scenarios. Try one and see!

You can follow me on Twitter @philaberry for notification of new posts. Five compilations have been published as e-books and paperbacks – ‘Motives, Emotions and Memory – exploring how doctors think’, ‘Spoken/Unspoken – hidden mechanics of the patient-doctor relationship’, ‘A Face To Meet The Faces’,  ‘A Hand in The River’ and ’When Windows Become Mirrors’. 

I also write fiction. My books can be explored at on my other website here.

Several e-books and paperbacks are available via my Amazon author page. I have published a 9 part fantasy-adventure for children called ‘All The Pieces’, and you can read more about it here.

My medical novels PROXIMITY and EXTREMIS explore what happens when paternalism, ingenuity and medical sociopathy combine – euthanasia.

A blog page listing my previous academic publications can be accessed here.



  1. Hello. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this blog. I think scenarios and dialogues are a very helpful way to explore real-life situations, but are often overlooked by medical bloggers. Over on my own blog, where I am examining some of the same themes as you, but from a nursing perspective, I have invented a character called ‘Nurse Bel’, whose adventures I sometimes use as a way into subjects I don’t feel comfortable to write about more directly. LIke you, I wanted to write about whistle-blowing, but I was afraid of sounding pompous or self-righteous, and I found Bel really useful. The result was ‘Nurse Bel does a bank shift’, viewable at: http://grumblingappendix.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/nurse-bel-does-a-bank-shift/


  2. Hi Dr. Berry,
    I’m looking for research literature regarding relationships between over-identification with one’s job and strain outcomes – especially for those employed in emergency services or care-giving roles. Loved your post in Illusions of Autonomy. Do you have any peer-reviewed suggestions for me?
    Thanks in advance!
    ~ April


    • Thanks for asking, and sorry the delay, which is because I’ve been trying to think about peer-reviewed studies in this area but without success. On Pubmed I saw quite alot on burnout and psychological profiles of health care workers, but nothing on the (over-)identification part of the equation. Sorry!


  3. Hi Dr. Berry, Very much enjoyed reading “AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF TRUTH IN MEDICINE” found when looking for answers on when medical research transitions to leaning to training and how the Nuremberg Code comes into play for patient rights. Case in question – the advent of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in early 80’s when which resulted in a high death and injury rates i.e. bile duct injury as high as 15% rate never disclosed to patients during the informed consent process. Doctors acknowledged this being acceptable for the benefit of surgeries learning or development . Training requirements were endless, diagnosis for cholecystectomy treatment for gallbladder issues increased 3 – 4 fold. Q: when does the pursue of review, unnecessary surgeons beach the Nuremberg Code. To this day, the same informed consent information excludes a long list of Post Cholecystectomy risk to long term health event to the point of denial of existence. Some evidence based medical studies even confirm risks to woman being as high as 43% developing PCS issues 2 days to 25 years. Highest at year 2 onward. Q: when does withholding information to patients supposedly for their own benefit, at great profit to doctors / hospitals become unethical. Q: when do those Doctors now responsible for post care problem support also become accountable under the code for non disclosure or diagnosis after considerable tests costs to patients. Your post I think confirms a breach of ethics and exposes a dark side to the profession of Doctors. Supporting info In 2013, More than 2.5 times likely to received a olecystectomy treatment diagnosis in the US compared to UK . Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) In this study, the rate of laparoscopic cholecystectomy per 100,000 people was : 275 in United States, 125 in the United Kingdom. As a consultant in gastroenterology, this may be a difficulty comment to reply to 🙂 . An affected casualty of LC and advocate for post care support to those patient discarded ‘ your health problems post cholecystectomy are in your head’. IC forms ‘ patients can live a normal life, eat a normal healthy dies, no likely post heath issues as the gallbladder is not required’


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