The Turnstone

BookThe Turnstone

The Turnstone

A Doctor’s Story


February 1st, 2001



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The Turnstone is a vivid and wide-ranging account of more than sixty years of travel, medical research and clinical practice. Geoffrey Dean was born in Wales in 1918 and trained as a doctor in Liverpool before serving with distinction as a medical officer in Bomber Command. After the war he moved to South Africa, where he lived with his family for the next twenty years. During this period Dean studied the epidemiology of porphyria, a disease that can cause paralysis; his book The Porphyrias was first published in 1963. Geoffrey Dean became Director of the Medico-Social Research Board of Ireland in 1968. The author’s research has taken him around the world, and besides his research findings, the book has a rich array of anecdotes and adventures, ranging from the threat of imprisonment in South Africa to a period spent as the personal physician to the multi-millionaire Governor of the Fiji Islands.

... a bracing tonic of a read from the pen of an action man.
Books Ireland

Author Information

Geoffrey Dean retired as director of the Medico-Social Research Board in 1985. In 2003, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to medicine.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
1: The Seed and the Soil13
2: School19
3: Medical School27
4: Bomber Command41
5: Peace55
6: South Africa63
7: Practice and Lauries Bay73
8: Porphyria’s Lover88
9: The Curse of the Pharaohs102
10: Lung Cancer109
11: The Turkish Epidemic of Porphyria116
12: Smoke121
13: Porphyria: The Master Family Tree132
14: King George III and the Royal Malady139
15: Multiple Sclerosis145
16: Arrested!152
17: Ireland163
18: The Medico-Social Research Board171
19: Notebook and Shoe Leather Epidemiology186
20: Alcohol, Heroin and AIDS200
21: China207
22: Retirement and a Shotgun Marriage216
23: Cyprus,Turkey and Spain222
24: Inshallah – God Willing234
25: My Family and Personal Life241
26: A Heart Attack: What Does It All Mean?251
27: The End of the Story259