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Interview with:

James McDiarmid FRCS(Plast) [plasticsurgeon] 


HEALTH
What is your specialty? What does your work consist of?
I am an accredited specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Having spent 18 years in the UK NHS I am now in full time private practice. I am based in the Southwest UK and am currently develooping a beautiful medispa/surgery centre at Wood Estate in Devon. My work is mainly aesthetic surgery of the breast, face and silhouette. I have a special interest in rhinoplasty, face, neck and eyelid rejuvenation. My time is evenly divided between consultations and surgery. I love my job and am a certifiable workaholic!
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you or the activity you carry out?
www.mhclinic.co.uk www.woodestate.co.uk
What types of clients do you have? Why do they come to you and what can you offer them?
90% of my clients are female and find me through word of mouth, the internet or recommendation from their GP. My practice offers the best, safest and most effective non-surgical and surgical aesthetic solutions.
What is your definition of health, and of a healthy life?
achieving fulfilment is the best way to attain true health. This must be mental as well as physical Anima sana in corpore sano
What are some basic rules for those who want to live to be 100.
party party party! LOL I love it when they interview centarians and ask what their secret is. Occasionally you get one who has a twinkle in their eye and says "well I drank too much and misbehaved all of my life, don't know how I made it this far!" makes me want to hug them for being truthful! Who wants to live forever anyway?
Happiness and health: how much do they have in common, and how much myth is there in their relationship?
they are mutually compatible but happiness can accompany ill health as much as misery and depression can plague the healthy. we have to allow happiness in to our lives, the rest (health and wealth) works itself out given half a chance.
Conventional medicine and alternative medicine: what is real and what is superstition?
Coming from a conventional background I am naturally superstitious of treatments based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientifically proven peer reviewed trials. What bothers me about alternative medicine is when patients who are seriously ill abandon conventional treatment in favour of meditation. My best friend died of a curable cancer which he failed to meditate away. if he hadn't been taken in by the bogus BS he would still be here now. Having said that I also believe that we don't yet have the entire picture in conventional medicine - I believe that alternative medicine should be complimentary - i:e in addition to conventional treatment. If you are seriously ill you accept anything else at your peril!
Can the mind cause or cure illness? What evidence do you have on the matter?
No! (only mental illness) no amount of positive thought will cure a cancer. It can help psychologically but I am completely unconvinced that PMA has any physical effect on CA.
Do you recommend Vitamins and nutritional supplements? Do you believe their benefits have been proven?
Occasionally. Certain vitamins have a proven effect, however a healthy balanced diet contains more than enough of the majority of these.
Every day there is a new product to stop aging. Is it solace that we are really buying?
Yes Creme de Mer for ú200 is as good as no-name brand moisturiser for ú2. Save your money and take a good holiday instead.
Obesity, insomnia, and depression, are epidemic. What does that say about our way of life? What must be changed at the social level?
Fast food is too cheap and too plentiful. Obesity is endemic - we see overweight newsreaders and celebrities now all the time. Exercise is the best antidepressant by far. It also is great for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. In my humble opinion people need to stop making excuses and putting things off til tomorrow! get off their butts and do some exercise!
What is your opinion on the use of medical marijuana for terminal illnesses.
Not my field of expertise but I am told it helps with pain relief and am all for it.
The patient/doctor relationship is part of the success of treatment. What should it be like?
mutually respectful
Is it reasonable to treat a patient whose condition is hopeless, only for medical experimentation?
no
How do patient beliefs or superstitions effect recovery?
they determine the way that care is sought in the first place. Beliefs and superstitions then colour the entire treatment process in terms of the decision tree.
What is the best way to give bad news to a patient?
it really depends on the situation. books have been written about this so it is not possible to summarise it in a small paragraph however: sensitively, compassionately, empathetically and humanely with the technical stuff de-medicalised as befits the individual patient are the are terms that I would use to describe this process.
Is the best preventive medicine teaching someone how to live?
depends whether you call "living" being Jimi Hendrix or Donny Osmond!
What are the most frequent errors of slimming diets.
that dieting is not the major issue at all and that exercise is all important.
Are too many unnecessary tests and x-rays performed in hospitals?
Not in the UK, we have been rationing these for FAR longer than in the US.
What new technologies have the most potential to save lives in the near future?
vaccines for cancer
If someone consults you, what is your recommendation regarding cosmetic surgery and implants?
This is my sphere of practice. Having performed many thousands of aesthetic procedures and seen the almost universal improvements in self-confidence which these procedures confer on patients I can attest to their safety and efficacy. I treat every patient as an individual and discuss their desires and needs in the context of their anatomy and health. I often turn patients away because of health issues or unrealistic expectations, however the majority of patients who attend my practice have done their research and are good candidates for surgery. I see nothing morally wrong with helping peoples self esteem - in fact there is very much that is fantastic about it!
What is your opinion on the regulation of health care practice.
In the UK this is performed by the GMC (for conventional practitioners). They are strict but fair. Repeated poor practice can lead to sanctions, policing doctors is difficult but necessary.
How do you asses the potential or the risks of genetic engineering on nutrition and human health?
not my sphere of expertise
Do you believe legalizing the use of narcotics would increase or lessen the damage caused to public health?
massively damage it
Of the thousands of beauty products on the market, what percentage has a significant effect?
I can think of 5 components off the top of my head that work in a clinically proven way. The rest is baloney.
How many times have you guessed what was wrong with a patient only by looking at his/her face?
If they were consulting me about a facial aesthetic issue then it is 100% of the time, otherwise this sounds a little like a Chinese medicine question!
What areas of health or of medicine are you most interested in devoting yourself to in the next few years?
Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. I am passionate about improving standards of aesthetic surgery performed in the UK during my working life. Teaching and training as well as learning are vital fundamentals here.
Would you change your profession for any another?
No
 

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[plasticsurgeon]
James McDiarmid FRCS(Plast)
Southwest UK


[plasticsurgeon] James McDiarmid FRCS(Plast)
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