Sharing an evening with the human guinea pig, Dr Michael Mosley

When you picture someone in your mind that you admire, you tend to hold them in high regard. So, when the opportunity presents to allow you to meet the person that has inspired you, you would expect this person to live up to the hype.

No pressure on Dr. Mosley, right? After first watching his documentary on TV five years ago, I was excited to hear how Dr. Mosley thought through certain processes, and how his career in medicine resulted in him being known as the human guinea pig.

Let me just say I was not disappointed. The presentation was so expansive that I left feeling a new sense of determination to not only better my health, but myself as a person in my pursuit of medicine. The world of medicine is so vast. A career in medicine can not only benefit the academic world or ill individuals but can be used to improve knowledge and curiosity from people from many academic backgrounds.

Dr. Mosley was diagnosed with type II diabetes five years ago. Following a scan, he took for a documentary, it was discovered that he had a high percentage of visceral fat, despite not having such a high percentage of visible external fat. Wanting to find an alternative to medication that helped manage diabetes, two major questions surfaced; who is at risk of diabetes and how can this disease be prevented or managed. One person in Australia develops diabetes every five minutes and this has grown alarmingly over the years.

To try and reverse type II diabetes and have a personal investment in its outcome, Dr. Mosley has been credited with introducing the 5:2 diet; intermittent fasting. Using intermittent fasting with short high-intensity bursts of exercise Dr. Mosley reduced the plateau effect that can happen with diet and exercise and has lost and kept off approximately ten kilograms of body fat.

Dr. Mosley spoke further about his journey to become a scientific broadcaster for the BBC. Despite initially facing a number of hurdles and rejection, Dr. Mosley refused to give up and sought Australian scientists investigating the effect of Helicobacter pylori on stomach ulcers. Dr. Mosley was determined to present these findings to the community and is now the go-to scientist on topics in which he himself volunteers to be the human guinea pig.

As an aspiring doctor, I took away a few tips from Dr. Mosley’s presentation that has allowed me to focus on my goals with a new sense of purpose and drive.

Question everything.

Is the way we do something the way it should be? Is there another way? Never give up. It took Dr. Mosley a number of attempts to get his first official producer role. All it takes is one “yes”.

And why would you give up? Your next attempt could be the “yes” you’ve been waiting for!

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Caitlyn Neale

Caitlyn Neale

Caitlyn Neale, aged 24, is a premedical student aspiring to become a paediatrician. She completed her Honours in Medical Science at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, has a keen interest to incorporate fun and humour into medical practice; and strives to add this fun and humour to stressful and overwhelming situations while going about daily life.