The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Monday, September 21, 2009

One out of thousands

At the end of last week I went for a biobank medical assessment. If you haven't come across it, biobank is a huge project to collect health and lifestyle information from thousands of people in the UK, who will then be tracked for years to come to see how their health develops and feed into various research projects. I got a letter a few weeks ago asking me to volunteer and last Thursday went along for a two-hour session at which I answered lots of questions about health, diet and lifestyle and had a whole range of medical checks.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole process for me was an interview with a nurse to add various bits of key personal data to a database. One of the first questions was "What's your job?". I was particularly impressed to find that lexicographer actually cropped up on the list of professions. Although the nurse admitted that I was the first one on the system!

More disappointing was the fact that RSI wasn't on the list of medical conditions and the nurse wanted to just ignore it until I insisted. It doesn't seem great for a study into the effect of modern lifestyles on health and adds to the frustration of having a controversial and often not recognised condition. Needless to say, I sent in my feedback at the end of the session and I'm awaiting a response.

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