The Squeaker


A short song/video about the tribulations of a professional busybody – an inspector of doctors’ surgeries, in fact. This will eventually appear as part of the third series of Dr Hairy videos (collectively entitled “Dr Hairy and the QCQ”), but hopefully it also works as a stand-alone. Loosely based on “The Seeker” by The Who, which is a particular favourite of mine. Made using InkScape, Blender, Kdenlive, Audacity and the Gimp.


YouTube –
Vimeo –

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, September 2016

The Research Summaries for September are now online – a bit late as usual. These are the last of the present series of Research Summaries: we’ll now put them all together in the form of a book, and start a new series after a couple of months’ break.

Subjects covered this time:

Statins evidence: when answers also raise questions
BMJ 2016;354:i4963
Association between electronic cigarette use and changes in quit attempts, success of quit attempts, use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, and use of stop smoking services in England: time series analysis of population trends
BMJ 2016;354:i4645
Electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation in England
BMJ 2016;354:i4819
Positive language leads to positive wellbeing
BMJ 2016;354:i4426
Recurrent otalgia in adults
BMJ 2016;354:i3917
Prevention of tick-borne diseases: an overview
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X687013
Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction: a common and overlooked cause of exertional breathlessness
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X687001
GPs’ demoralisation is due to our loss of human connection
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X686833
Influenza vaccination: in the UK and across Europe
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X686677
Decriminalising sex work in the UK
BMJ 2016;354:i4459

For more about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, visit

New Publishing Talks interview by David Wilks

David Wilk interviews Peter Costanzo of Associated Press

I’ve been following David Wilks’ ‘Publishing Talks’ podcasts for some years now, and every so often he comes up with something really interesting. This one is an interview with Peter Costanzo, currently working for the Associated Press, but formerly associated with digital publishing ventures for NBC and various others; and it’s full of perceptive remarks about why ebooks haven’t supplanted print books, why ‘enhanced’ ebooks (new media literature) have failed to take off commercially, how the publishing industry has managed to protect the status quo in the face of digital change more effectively than the record industry, and just the mechanics of the modern publishing marketplace in general – the dominance of Amazon, the failure of both Apple and Google to challenge that dominance, the dominance of the Kindle as the main reading device, etc. Well worth a listen if you’ve got 45 minutes to spare.

The Poetry Map by Matt Bryden

I came across the Poetry Map on the Arts News list, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Basically it’s a collection of poems associated with certain places, and as you move from poem to poem – along one of four ‘paths’ – you also move from one Google map to another, showing you a from-the-air view of the place where the poem is set, or where it was composed. Most of the places are rural or semi-rural.

It’s a bit glitchy. I haven’t managed to make it all the way through yet without reaching a page where the text disappears and leaves me with no alternative but to start all over again from the beginning; and I also think that it’s a bit less interactive than it could be, because the introductory map looks as if you ought to be able to click on it to choose which path you’d like to go into, or which particular poem on a given path you’d like to start from. Also, the ArtsNews announcement mentions that there is a Random option, which presents the poems randomly rather than asking you to follow a particular path, but I haven’t been able to find this yet.

But having said all that, it’s proper well-written poetry, and there’s a real sense of place about it, and Bryden has  found an interesting and original way of presenting the poems to an online audience, all of which makes it well worth a couple of visits.

Call for Submissions: The Cranbrook Video Festival – Wellbeing

The Cranbrook Video Festival is now open for submissions.

This year the Festival is going to be held at the Crane Surgery in Cranbrook, and the theme of the festival is ‘Wellbeing’. Videos on other subjects will be accepted for consideration, but videos about wellbeing are particularly welcome.

At the surgery we’re currently putting together a series of instructional videos about wellbeing, to be displayed in our Waiting Room. Research has shown that a sense of wellbeing is just as powerfully associated with long life and good health as all the usual physiological stuff: weight control, blood pressure control, low cholesterol, plenty of exercise, plenty of roughage, etc. Yet most people are very much in the dark about what practical things they can do to promote their own mental and spiritual good health. But the information’s out there: creative activity, learning new things, staying active, socialising, giving to others and mindfulness are all good for your wellbeing.

For the Festival, we’d particularly like to put together some videos on the theme of wellbeing – activities that promote wellbeing, circumstances that prevent wellbeing, philosophy of wellbeing, things that make you happy, representations of happiness, etc.  Videos should ideally be under 10 minutes in length, but longer work will be considered.

The festival will be held at the Crane Surgery in Cranbrook, Kent on Friday 19/2/16. The deadline for submissions is 30th December. If interested, please contact with “Video festival submission” in the subject-line.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, August 2016

The latest bundle of research summaries, with accompanying quizzes, is now online, covering the following subjects:

Ten Commandments for patient-centred treatment
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp15X687001
Chronic fatigue syndrome: is the biopsychosocial model responsible for patient dissatisfaction and harm?
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X686473
Differentiating milk allergy (IgE and non-IgE mediated) from lactose intolerance: understanding the underlying mechanisms and presentations
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X686521
Addison’s disease: identification and management in primary care
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp15X686713
Contraception meets HRT: seeking optimal management of the perimenopause
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp15X686689
Biting off more than we can chew: is BMI the correct standard for bariatric surgery eligibility?
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp15X686665
Physical activity and risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke events: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013
BMJ 2016;354:i3857
Meaningless METS: studying the link between physical activity and health
BMJ 2016;354:i4200
Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies
BMJ 2016;353:i2716
Whole grains and public health
BMJ 2016;353:i3046

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit

Dr Hairy Series 3 – some images

King Charles I:


Oliver Cromwell:


Charles I and Oliver Cromwell aren’t major characters in the story – they’re just mentioned.

Grabber’s family (looking grumpy):


Grabber’s family (looking happy):


Grabber’s two sisters are called Pongo and Krups. The one on the right is his mother.

Dr Hairy’s mum:


The first episode should be forthcoming soon.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, March 2016

The latest bundle of research summaries, with accompanying quiz, is now online, covering the following subjects:

NHS in England embraces collaboration in tackling biggest crisis in its history
BMJ 2016;352:i1022
“Vaginal seeding” of infants born by caesarean section
BMJ 2016;352:i227
A seven day NHS
BMJ 2016;352:i1248
Time for global action on Zika virus epidemic
BMJ 2016;352:i781
Zika virus
BMJ 2016;352:i1049
Mucosal erosions as the presenting symptom in erythema multiforme: a case report
Primary care clinician antibiotic prescribing decisions in consultations for children with RTIs: a qualitative interview study
Sepsis: the primary care focus
Overdiagnosis and overtreatment: generalists — it’s time for a grassroots revolution
Different systolic blood pressure targets for people with history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack: PAST-BP (Prevention After Stroke—Blood Pressure) randomised controlled trial
BMJ 2016;352:i708

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research summaries, please visit .