Mark 10kWhen I met Mark he was still buzzing from having completed his first 10k. I think he might have been caught up in the wave of enthusiasm that had seen 86 of ‘Westerners’ enter the Scottish Half Marathon and 10k. It had been Mark’s first 10k and he was very pleased that his training plan had helped to achieve a finishing time of 55 minutes – pretty impressive for a first 10k in my book.

Mark is a consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology based at the Metabolic Unit. He had some interesting bits of information that he wanted to share I was told. The first concerned the bridge from Ward 1 to the Cancer Centre. I had already been told about the fact that when this was built the road had to dug out a bit as fire engines could not pass underneath the bridge. Measure twice, cut once is a well-known proverb in the building trade. Mark’s story about the bridge clarified the reason for it being built in the first place. Previously Ward 1 was used as the kidney transplant centre and in the early days of kidney transplants radiotherapy was used as a means of preventing rejection. The bridge was there to transport patients from the transplant centre to be irradiated.

Our conversation soon moved on to the fact that medical science evolves quickly and what is now seen as definitely not a good idea was then seen as a cutting edge treatment. As in many of my conversations we soon arrived at that point where I again discover that the Western is a place for  innovation. Whether this is the link between liquorice, high blood pressure and a multinational enzyme research programme that this fostered…or the discovery by Patricia Jacobs and John Strong of the genetic basis of Klinefelter’s Syndrome, where they identified that affected men had an additional X-Chromosome. It really is an amazing place the Western!

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