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10 Minutes With...



10 Minutes With...

1. Why did you decide to

study medicine?

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

your specialty?

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

comedy actress.

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

tumour surgery.

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

lumbar conditions.









To refer a patient to Mr Edward McKintosh, please contact

the GP Liaison Department on

T: 020 7234 2009

Mr Edward McKintosh

Consultant Neurosurgeon