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 18 August 2022

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Professor Pali Hungin is a general practitioner in North-East England. He was brought up in East Africa, but was unable to return because of political upheavals. He graduated in medicine from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, from where he also obtained his Doctorate on open-access gastroscopy and the management of dyspepsia.

Pali Hungin is a founding member of the UK and the European Society for Primary Care Gastroenterology. He also served, until recently, on the Council of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He is currently a member of the UK's Central Research and Development Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the UK Federation of Primary Care Research Networks.

Professor Hungin is part of a four-doctor general practice, and is on the Research Group of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Research interests include dyspepsia, particularly in the use of investigations and management across the primary-secondary care interface. His recent work has been on the use of long-term PPI therapy and on the diagnosis and management of Helicobacter pylori in different countries across Europe. As Professor of General Practice at the University of Durham, Pali is involved in the supervision of varied clinical research in primary care, including heart failure, diabetes, and urological problems.

What made you decide to become a general practitioner?
The attractions of a mixed general training plus the lack of intelligence required to explore other possibilities.
Who was the teacher you admired the most?
My English and Economics teacher at school. He taught us to see things differently from others - this proved to be an important tip for challenging the conventional. I heard later that he quit teaching and became a chef.
Which research paper influenced you the most?
Papers by Mike Gear, Steve Wilkinson, and Jeremy Barnes opened my eyes to the possibility of GPs taking greater control over managing their patients. Later work by Roger Jones was instrumental in strengthening my confidence in the ability of GPs to undertake research.
What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
That having a contented life is only partly related to how hard you work in your professional life - unexpected events and serendipity are probably more influential. It's important to hang on!
What is your unfulfilled ambition?
To write an anthology of the lives of people I have known, and to be a member of the MCC (Can anyone help?).
How do you relax?
Music, reading, grass-track car racing (the car is now regrettably beyond repair).
What is your favorite sport?
Cricket - largely because I know enough to be able to play but not enough to master it.
What is your best place in the world?
Egglescliffe, with its kindly and accepting people.
What is your favorite film?
"Our man in Havana" based on Graham Greene's novel; also "The Gringe" was not bad.
What car do you drive?
Mercedes C320.
What is your best electronic 'toy'?
The power amplifier in my hi-fi system.
What book are you reading at the moment?
"An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth, and an occasional instalment of "Across the Boundary" by C. L. R. James, a great cricket writer.
Why did you get in involved in
The sheer charisma of the editors.

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