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Henry Marsh was until 2015 the senior consultant neurosurgeon at the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George’s Hospital, south London, one of the country’s largest specialist brain surgery units. Marsh retired from full-time work at St George’s in 2015, though he continues with long-standing surgical roles at hospitals in the Ukraine and Nepal
He specialises in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic and was the subject of a major BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands in 2004, and his widely-acclaimed memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery was published was published in 2014 to great acclaim, and became a bestseller across the world.
Henry is a captivating storyteller and speaks candidly about success and failure and what it feels like to slice through the matter that creates thought, dreams and memories. His career as a neurosurgeon has taught him most about his own fallibility and self-deception. We all make mistakes but the consequences of a neurosurgeon’s mistakes can be so terrible that many surgeons develop all manner of defensive psychological strategies in order to continue working. Henry talks with searing honesty about the cemetery that all surgeons inevitably carry with them; and why he would prefer to be seen by his patients as a fallible human being, rather than a demigod or villain.