Medical Jellybeans with @TheTopEnd

Jellybeans. Conversations with Care. The Jellybeans started here and are now also hosted on (The Original) & This is the complete collection. Sometimes containing more controversial offerings.

Jellybean 17 with Derek Angus

It is a Jumbo sized Jellybean.

Derek Angus; 15/15 on the Glasgow Conversational Scale.

Derek was in the headlines a couple of years back for being the lead author of the PROCESS trial. You may have heard him on EMCrit talking about that study. (Link to podcast)

You may have heard that he is one of the Heavyweights invited to SMACC CHICAGO.

So where does he come from, how did he get here, is he the right fit for that SMACC scene and will he be singing until 3am at FOAMaoke?

I caught up with Derek in Wellington, New Zealand at the Paul Young curated “Down with Dogma” College of Intensive Care Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting and I won’t pretend; I really like him.

Angus is a Prince of research. Do a Pubmed search for him if you don’t believe me; there are literally hundreds of papers.

He started out at Glasgow University. (I seem to have a thing for Glaswegians a.k.a. “Weegies”) He was aiming at neurosurgery but after his MRCP and became the first Commonwealth citizen to work for MSF back when MSF were much, much smaller.

This conversation was just too interesting to stop around 10 minutes as Jellybeans usually are.

Have a listen. I think you’ll like it.

Like Derek, I got into medicine thinking that I would end up in something like Medecins sans Fronteires (MSF). Maybe you did too? I wanted to go off and save the world as soon as I could but the wise heads held me back; “do a few years of residency first”, “do your exams first”, “get your fellowship first” and “complete your entire career, buy a house, start a family, grow some grey hairs and tidy up your retirement first!”

Derek was based in South East Asia around the time of the Vietnamese Boat People exodus. Many people reading this may be part of that extremely frightening story. You or your parents may have met this guy.(link) All around the world the folks that have survived that terrifying journey have turned their lives into great victories. In London and Melbourne, I’ve have lived among and worked for Vietnamese communities. I loved it.

Today Australia has an ugly, unjust and inhumane approach to people arriving by boat. It shames us. It is wrong. In a few weeks I will release a fantastic interview with one of the doctors from Christmas Island. (Jellybean 31)

The entire world of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) is somewhat impenetrable for the uninitiated. It has changed an awful lot since Derek was in there. It was all passion and less systematic back then. Our conversation touched on the SPHERE Project. SPHERE is an attempt to establish minimum standards for the NGO Community. That’s a another subject for another day. (In a later Jellybean we will dig into the MSF world.)

Derek went from MSF to working with Peter Safar no less.

Haney Mallemat talked about him in a blast from the past. (Find it in the RAGE Podcast Session One. If you have not listened to that you are in for a treat. )

From his early papers co-authored by Safar he has gone onto publish nearly 300 article of all shapes and sizes. These do not focus on the minutiae of some esoteric area, they seem to cover almost everything. Can you be a research generalist?

Talking to Scott Weingart he gave a restrained epidemiologically tight representation of what the PROCESS trial tells us. Many of the questions and comments on blog were focusing upon “what should we do with our septic patients?” My understanding of the ProCESS trial is that it tries to answer a specific question; what part of this bundle actually works. Anthony Delaneys understanding is rather more important than mine though.

Sepsis is just one small part of what he does; he has fingers in all sorts of pies from Social Justice to Disaster Management. But what I should have asked him was what he was doing when he worked at “Reanimation Medicale” Hopital Cochin in Paris?

One of the best things that we talked about was heros, mentors and role models. Don’t be afraid of these guys.

If you’ve got a hero out there at least send them an email!

This guy is seriously impressive; apparently you or I could be him!


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