Liverpool University's Literary Festival webinar

On Monday 14 October, a number of Sixth Form students interested in a career in medicine attended a webinar broadcast of the Scouse Scientist podcast. Amelia Y has written this review of the event.

As part of Liverpool University’s Liverpool Literary Festival, a special episode of Scouse Science, a scientific podcast hosted by Professor Tom Solomon was produced, discussing the most recent books of palliative care consultant Dr Rachel Clarke and GP Dr Gavin Francis. 

Dr Clark’es book was a way for her to battle her stress-induced insomnia during the pandemic, and expresses her annoyance at the handling of the pandemic and gives a view into her experiences of speaking to the most vulnerable hospice patients about COVID. The name of the book ‘Breathtaking’ comes from three factors: the breathtaking nature of the disease, and the way her breath was taken away by seeing both the best in people and the worst in people.

Dr Francis’ book, Intensive Care, was written to help him cope with the stress of the pandemic as a GP. He discussed how shadow pandemics are affecting GP’s; doctors who aren’t necessarily fighting COVID but having to deal with the consequences, sharing startling statistics about how his work which was around 1/3 mental health issues before the pandemic has now risen to 2/3.

The podcast was very intriguing as it went into much detail other than what is found within the books and gave a wider understanding into the way that the pandemic has not only affected the general population, but medical professionals too. It shone a light on the lesser-discussed parts of medicine and how our views on tackling COVID have changed since the start of the pandemic.