Amid conflict and catastrophe
Jim Ryan is one of the leading figures in Britain in the emerging field of conflict and catastrophe medicine, and his experiences encompass humanitarian and military interventions around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan as well as the Balkans and the Falkland Islands. He has recently retired from the post of Leonard Cheshire professor in conflict recovery at University College London, where he is also honorary consultant in accident and emergency medicine. James I D M Matheson caught up with him on his return from Indonesia
- By: James I D M Matheson
It was largely unintentional. I left the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1994 after the closure of service hospitals and was immediately approached by Leonard Cheshire International, an international charity for disabled people around the world, with a proposal to establish an academic centre for conflict health.
Absolutely. To my mind, it is one of modern medicine's neglected stepchildren. The faculty of conflict and catastrophe medicine at the Society of Apothecaries of London, which I helped found, is beginning the huge task of academic study on the provision of care in war, conflict, and disaster, and it is the future. The diploma in the medical care of catastrophes is quietly becoming the accepted standard for deployment.
With care, I'm afraid. Most organisations typically only accept quite senior specialist registrars or young consultants. It is all to do with governance, audit, and the risks of litigation. That does not mean that