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Consultant radiologist at West Suffolk Hospital celebrates 50 years in the NHS

Dr Alan Early, consultant radiologist at West Suffolk Hospital ANL-160702-145414001
Dr Alan Early, consultant radiologist at West Suffolk Hospital ANL-160702-145414001

A consultant radiologist at West Suffolk Hospital who began his career before the invention of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasound is celebrating 50 years of working in the NHS.

Dr Alan Early, 73, first registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) on January 19, 1966 and has witnessed major changes as new technology has been introduced.

He said: “When I first qualified, CT, MRI and ultrasound hadn’t started and we used to use film, which has now been replaced by digital imaging.

“These advances have all made such a difference to the quality of the images we work with, and have also helped us to be more productive as we can complete diagnostic tests much more quickly, which is also good news for our patients.”

Dr Early was born in Hull and worked in Middlesborough and Doncaster after completing his medical studies in London. He underwent his consultant training in Newcastle after developing an interest in radiology, and then spent 28 years at Hull Royal Infirmary.

He joined West Suffolk Hospital in 2004 after moving to Cambridge at the suggestion of consultant radiologist Dr Malcolm Macfarlane, who trained in Hull and now works at the Bury trust.

“I spent some time in hospital as an inpatient when I was a child, and seeing the work which was done first hand made me decide to pursue medicine as a career,” added Dr Early.

“I have really enjoyed it and like helping patients and meeting people.

“The difficult thing is going to be deciding when to retire. I have some vague plans about finishing at the end of this year, but currently work two days a week and am not quite ready to stop.”

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