is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.
This week, with the newspapers full of health scares, doping controversy and the anticipation of all sort of problems in the run-up to the Rio Olympic games, let me tell you a good news story….
It was the height of the troubles in Belfast, in the midst of the hunger strikes, with frequent riots, shootings and bombs. I had just qualified and was completing junior doctor jobs in a hospital a few miles from our home in west Belfast. Running to and from the hospital, I often passed the still smouldering debris of last night’s burnt out cars. Our local athletics club met not far from our home, and the surgery where I was to practice as a GP for 30 years. It was a club without premises, track, or any permanent home. We met in the evening at the local day centre, and we'd run through the streets of west Belfast and beyond.
I don’t know how many members there were but it seemed like hundreds of young people gathered there on winter evenings. ...continue reading