One Man's Medicine. An Autobiography of Professor Archie by Max Blythe, Archibald Cochrane

By Max Blythe, Archibald Cochrane

In ‘One Man’s Medicine’, Professor Archie Cochrane (1909-1988) recalls how occasions and stories within the Spanish Civil battle and in German prisoner of battle camps, between many others, led him to question conventional scientific attitudes and champion an evidence-based, evaluative method of drugs and healthcare with which his identify is now inextricably linked.

Thorn within the aspect of the clinical institution, pioneering epidemiologist, now not least one of the mining groups of South Wales, educational, poet, tourist, artwork collector and convivial host are only a few dimensions of a desirable and influential lifestyles vividly recalled in ‘One Man’s drugs’

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Planned. 58 Towards the end of May 1937 an attack was to be launched towards Segovia, and a team of staff from Huete, which included a number of us from the old group, was summoned to man a new front line36 hospital at Club Alpino, a skiing resort on the road from Madrid to Segovia. ) The site chosen for the hospital seemed good, with adequate space for triage. I can remember taking a good supply of aeroplane splints with me. Again, Reggie Saxton was there with blood supplies and I think we had two or three good surgeons on the team.

With more surgeons, more nurses, and more drivers we achieved a reasonably efficient hospital. It was also a reasonably happy one. I do not remember many quarrels. Certainly this situation was helped by Boulka keeping a low profile in the early days. There was also the fact that no one worked too long at a stretch, though we did work long hours. My own work benefited greatly from the collaborative spirit of the new surgeons, who liked my way of organising triage and helped me to improve it through various useful discussions.

What I do remember clearly is that it was a depressing time. There were rumours of disagreements in the Madrid government; there were rumours about the suppression of the POUM in Barcelona; there were rumours of volunteers from the UK being discouraged from joining the International Brigade by our representatives in Barcelona and Valencia. In addition, the problem of whether or not the communists should hold their secret meetings surfaced again. It had been simmering since Grañén. But there were also newcomers to cheer us up.

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