10 Minutes With...
10 Minutes With...
1. Why did you decide to
I enjoyed science and wanted a
career that involved working with
people, as well as working with
science. I’ve since spent three years
doing lab-based research and realised
that people skills are every bit as
important in science.
2. What made you pursue
Within a few weeks of starting
anatomy, I found out that I am much
more of a surgeon than a physician. I
had been interested in the brain since
A-levels, but had never really known
about neurosurgery prior to medical
3. What is the most rewarding
part of your job?
It’s great when patients wake up from
an operation symptom-free.
4. What do you enjoy doing in
your spare time?
I spent most of my childhood on
the Wiltshire Downs and later lived
near Dartmoor. I loved long walks
and this gradually developed
into longer distance walking and
mountaineering. This led on to seven
very happy years jumping out of
aeroplanes in the Territorial Army,
but all stopped when I had children.
For the past few years, my major
relaxation has been playing with
them. I’ve tried hard not to influence
their choices, but didn’t fight too
hard when the older boy asked if he
and I could go on a camping trip last
Summer. This Summer the younger
one is determined to come too…
5. What is the title of your ‘best
read’ so far?
Once my children have run out of
excuses for not going to bed, I love
to lose myself in a book. After a day
of brain tumours, however, I find that
the usual list of books doctors are
supposed to read to make us more
compassionate and caring can be too
much of a good thing. My wife and I
have an ongoing joke about anything
thick with a gold embossed cover,
and the first volume of Rory Muir’s
biography of Wellington is particularly
6. If you could invite three
people to dinner, living or
dead, who would they be?
For a really good party with great
conversation I think Charles II, Mae
West and Victoria Coren Mitchell
would work pretty well.
7. What is special about where
you grew up?
The Wiltshire Downs on a Summer’s
evening has a real sense of space and
time and the crowds who visit the
stone circles and long barrows never
came to the small tumulus that was
half a mile from my parents’ house.
We had this bit of the Downs pretty
much to ourselves as children and it
had a real sense of magic (probably
helped by the dire warning that
anyone who walked through the
tumulus would turn into a witch –
we never dared to find out).
8. Where is your favourite place
in the world?
It takes a lot to beat Wiltshire and
Dartmoor, but I was lucky enough
to spend seven months researching
kuru in the Eastern Highlands
Province of Papua New Guinea. From
some of the more remote villages, it’s
possible to look across a 3000ft deep
river valley and watch the evening
wind carry clouds down from higher
valleys, which open into the far side
of the valley 20 miles away. Chatting
with people who live in a culture
little-changed since the Stone Age
while watching geography taking place
on such a huge scale, is a memory
I really treasure.
9. Who would you get to play
yourself in a movie?
Marilyn Monroe – a much underrated
Edward McKintosh trained at
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital
and did his basic surgical training
at St George’s Hospital. After six
months as a Senior House Officer
at Queen Square, he worked
on Kuru in Papua New Guinea
and then did a PhD in surgical
instrument sterilisation from CJD
at Queen Square. He completed
his higher training in Neurosurgery
on the South Thames rotation
and returned to Queen Square
for further experience of awake
craniotomies in epilepsy and
He won the Norman Dott Medal
for obtaining the highest mark in
the FRCS(sn) exam. This funded
an observership at the Barrow
Neurological Institute in Phoenix
prior to taking up his Consultant
post at the Royal London Hospital.
His sub-specialist interest is brain
tumour surgery, and his general
NHS practice includes brain
trauma and degenerative neck and
To refer a patient to Mr Edward McKintosh, please contact
the GP Liaison Department on
T: 020 7234 2009
Mr Edward McKintosh