Details for 'One Medicine' by Matt Morgan

One Medicine

by Matt Morgan
How understanding animals can save your life - a doctor explains in this fascinating personal journey of discovery.
One Medicine
by Matt Morgan
My review:

Dr Matt Morgan is an intensive care consultant and he claims in this book that we can learn a great deal from animals, and that vets and doctors have much they can and should share to help all of us live better, healthier lives.

Matt Morgan's journey of discovery began with a biscuit. A patient had suffered a cardiac arrest after inhaling some biscuit crumbs. As he was treating him, Morgan looked out of the window and saw a flock of birds flying by. They must inhale objects while they're flying, so how do they survive?

The book charts the patients Dr Morgan treats and the parallels he draws from their conditions to the behaviours and anatomies of animals.

There are lessons to be learned from giraffes, for example, in terms of how blood is pumped all the way up that neck, but also watching how a giraffe breathes can help an asthma patient. Investigating why birds living in the Arctic circle don’t freeze to death has led to advances with treating hypothermia. And ants, well ants are fascinating, not least when Morgan was immersed in the pandemic and saw how ants protected each other from infection and disease.

It's a very readable, intriguing book, which feels like the author is musing rather than presenting us with a crafted argument or solid narrative. The themed chapters interweave anecdotes, memoir and scientific explanations and there's a lot here to return to and to explore further. It's a powerful message.

Date of my review June 2023
Book publication date: 2nd March 2023