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At the heart of general practice since 1960

CV: Dr Douglas Fleming

Dr Douglas Fleming talks us through his career so far

Dr Douglas Fleming talks us through his career so far

What/who made you decide to go into general practice?

I did not fancy years of living in hospital residential accommodation.

What would you have done if you hadn't been a doctor?

I think I would have made myself happy in whatever capacity I was placed.

Who's your career role model or guru?

Pille Krogh-Jensen, a Danish general practitioner, now dead. He was a founder member of the European General Practice Research Workshop, and I admired him for his sharp analytical mind and his incisive skill in assessing research results.

What's your career high point so far?

The first paper I succeeded in getting in the Lancet (Fleming DM, Cross KW. Respiratory Syncytial virus or influenza? Lancet 1993; 342: 1507-10).

And the low point?

Failure to persuade the MRC to finance a project on integrated clinical and microbiological surveillance.

What leisure interests do you or would you list in Who's Who?

Squash, bridge and active participation in my local church

Anything interesting on your surgery or office wall?

A series of photographs of children, mostly disadvantaged, from all corners of the globe, taken by one of my partners, Denise Kinch.

What's your fantasy career move?

None. No time for fantasies.

What's your greatest mistake in your career so far?

I am happy not to be able to recall a great career mistake.

Dr Douglas Fleming is director of the Birmingham Research Unit of the Royal College of General Practitioners. In his activities at the unit he has been particularly concerned with epidemiology and primary care, and was heavily involved in the third and fourth national morbidity surveys. He is responsible for the Weekly Returns Service ­ an information system funded by the Department of Health in order to obtain regular weekly information on the incidence of common diseases. This information system is particularly important for the surveillance of influenza.

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