Medicines, side effects and me, a GP

When I was a rooster and not a feather duster, and was sought-after as an after-dinner speaker, I used to have a slide that depicted the noticeboard outside a medical practice.*

The picture listed the names of the doctors and their specialities.

One of the practitioners specialised in 'Side Effects'.

This cartoon was funny at the time, but for me, understanding the side effects of many medications has proven to be more important than their alleged benefits.

I know this from personal experience. This is my story.

The background

2016 was a medical annus horribilis for me.

The complications of a failed attempt at a cardiac ablation for my atrial fibrillation (AF) included a haemopericardium, DVTs, a compartment syndrome, a lower leg amputation, wound infections and an extended period of hospitalisation.