I am a 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 really 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. Three 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’ and ‘A face to meet the faces’.

I also write fiction which can be explored at http://www.philberrycreative.wordpress.com. Several e-books and paperbacks are available via my Amazon author page. I have published an 8  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


    1. 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!


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