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The Author

The author wrote the first draft of the material for this website, and sends a prepublication draft to an Editorial Board, all of whom serve also on the Editorial Committee for the newsletters. The specialty and qualifications of each member of the Editorial Board are listed on a separate page.

Statement by the author, Trevor Cory Beard

Dr Trevor BeardI spent two-thirds of my professional career in general medical practice and one-third in public health. In retirement I am a part-time Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. A few of my publications are cited on various pages in the text and listed in the references at the end of each page.

My Cambridge medical degrees are Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BChir) and my public health degree from the University of California at Berkeley is Master of Public Health (MPH). At Berkeley I was elected to the Zeta (California) Chapter of Delta Omega, the public health equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. I also have a London qualification, the Diploma in Obstetrics of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DObstRCOG) and am an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).

After qualification I was a resident medical officer at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London and later at the City of London Maternity Hospital. After military service (Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps) I joined a group general practice in Britain 's new National Health Service (NHS).

My personal mission

I entered general practice with high ideals, at a time of radical change in the remuneration of British doctors. Sickness no longer increased medical incomes in the NHS—doctors were to be paid by the number of patients who selected them as their family doctor. This gave doctors for the first time an incentive to keep their patients well, a fundamental change that was expected to herald a new era of preventive medicine.

I was disappointed however to discover both in Britain and later in Australia how little the public cares about prevention. Nevertheless when a small Australian boy died suddenly of a ruptured hydatid cyst in my country practice in Tasmania I was able to persuade the rural community to start a campaign against hydatid disease (echinococcosis). We started in 1962. When we carried it to other districts the government supported it, and in 1996 Tasmania became the first territory in the world to declare provisional eradication of hydatid disease [1, 2].

I believe it is not beyond human ingenuity to do the same thing with hypertension, in spite of public apathy and gastronomic prejudice. I have published reasons for believing that a chosen community with an adequate infrastructure of shops selling a good choice of low salt foods could mount a demonstration project with publishable results [3, 4].

Here is an interesting postscript—patients with Meniere's Disorder can usually abolish the severe vertigo without drugs or surgery, with the help of the book [4] and a few consultations. These are the most grateful patients I have ever had, and I was elected Senior Australian of the Year 2006 for Tasmania.

References

1. Beard TC. Evidence that a hydatid cyst is seldom "as old as the patient". Lancet 1978;2:30-33.

2. Beard TC, Bramble AJ, Middleton MJ. Eradication in Our Lifetime: A Log Book of the Tasmanian Hydatid Control Programs, 1962-1996. Hobart: Department of Primary Industries, Water & Environment; 2001.

3. Beard TC. Randomised controlled trial of a no-added-sodium diet for mild hypertension. Lancet 1982;2:455-58.

4. Beard TC. Salt Matters: the killer condiment. Sydney: Hachette Livre; 2007:207-223.


Page last modified on: Monday 01 Nov, 2010

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