22May 2019

Doctor what is wrong with me - The Art of Diagnostics

Dr James Grant MBE

Dr Grant was born in the borders of Scotland and educated at Glasgow University. After several years in hospital medicine he went into rural practice in Perthshire where he had a very varied and satisfying career in clinical practice, medical management and research. He is a fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and of Glasgow, the Royal College of General Practitioners and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In 2011 he was awarded an MBE for services to community health care.

For many years he has given lectures on various topics from public health, the history of the postal services to the illnesses of Robert Burns. These lectures have been given to a wide variety of historical groups, libraries and rotary clubs. Now retired he has taken his interest in medicine and art further by becoming an accredited NADFAS lecturer. His interest in books and manuscripts is reflected in his governorship of Innerpeffray Library which is one of the oldest public lending libraries in the country.

“What is wrong with me”? is the most common question put to any doctor. The ability of doctors to respond meaningfully to the question “Doctor what is wrong with me” has progressed in the last 2,000 years from mythology to Galen’s four humors, bloodletting, endoscopy and MRI scans.   This lecture illustrates how artists as varied as Ghirlandio, Holbein and Barbara Hepworth have depicted this diagnostic journey.   Through their ability to record faithfully many different pathologies and procedures in their art may allow the modern observer to understand better a complex process which we now take for granted.