Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eat your heart out, Corrie!

As well as covering "drugs, sex and rock and roll" for the mass media, I'm also heavily involved in the more academic side of things - most particularly sexual health. Yesterday, for example, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, a cute little mag that belies its rather ponderous name to give coverage of a range of topics from menstruation to the menopause by way of contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer - anything to do with women's and men's bits, basically.

Of course it's a serious journal - the list of contributors always reads like a Who's Who of key world figures in sexual health. But what always amazes me during our meetings is the fact that in addition it's so much about real life, real stories of patients who have had to make difficult choices, real concerns of health professionals who have had to face difficult challenges. Granted, unless you have a medical interest in the topic, you won't keep a copy on your bedside table; but beneath the long Latin words and the carefully correlated statistics, there lie so many human stories - stories that frankly, I find much more interesting and inspiring than any TV soap.