About the Author

After graduating from medical school at Cambridge, I did junior hospital jobs in Leeds and Oxford, followed by locum posts in infectious diseases, accident & emergency and genitourinary medicine.
I worked for Save the Children Fund in Upper Volta (now called Burkina Faso), Southern Sudan and Ethiopia before returning to London to do the diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene in 1981. With my wife, Sheila, I worked with Laotian refugees in Ubon, Thailand before moving to The Gambia as Eastern Regional Medical Officer.
I returned to UK in 1984 to do GP vocational training in North Devon and we had two children. In 1987, I accepted a job with the Overseas Development Administration to be Chief Medical Officer in Makira Ulawa province, Solomon Islands. I returned to UK when my wife was almost murdered by a convict.
For six months, I was Senior Medical Adviser to Her Majesty’s Government for medical aid to Africa. I joined a general practice in Leicester in 1988 and when my wife had recovered, we had another daughter in 1992. I resigned on April 1st 2013 to work as a medical volunteer on the Thai Burma border.
I am a generalist with interests in mental and sexual health, dermatology and infectious diseases. I was a senior appraiser and mental health lead for Leicester before retiring. My beloved wife died in March 2012. She would have enjoyed being here in Mae Sot. This work is a tribute to her memory.

Dr Ian Cross

PS After working on the border, I moved on to work in rural Zambia and now I am working for Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders in Swaziland.



40 Replies to “About the Author”

  1. I am living vicariously through this! More, more! Seems like you are having an incredible journey – the images and descriptions are amazing. Enjoy!

  2. Need a map of Thailand…. Or even a satellite photo with a pin sticker to know where you are. Looks like a constant party binge with an odd patient thrown in :).
    You are doing good stuff Ian!!!!!!

      1. Hi Ian,
        I have just been watching you on the BBC Evening News it made me cry to see all of those poorly children here back in Leicester where I live and work also for the NHS at the LRI brings home just how lucky we are.
        We do live in such a beautiful World but such a Sad, Sad World.
        I would love to help where would I start please? X

  3. Just realised where you are – didnt realise you are only about 50/ miles from Phitsanulok – I think that was the town I visited with all the monkeys on the island in the middle

  4. You have achieved so much in such a short time. Sounds like you are having a blast. Continue to enjoy!

  5. Hello,

    Recently I returned from a journey to Zambia and just loved my time there. I was just browsing and came upon your blog. I lost my beloved husband in June of 2013. He never wanted to go to Africa so it was a bit easier to go to Zambia than some other places.

    I believe the loss of a spouse will get easier with time but it sure is tough right now.

    I just felt like responding to you interest blog and wish you well.


    1. Thank you Gwen. I’m sorry for your loss. Luckily my wife and I shared a love of Africa and wild animals. She would have enjoyed it here. Come back again spoon. But watch out, africa is addictive!

  6. Ian. Am greatly enjoying your blog. Especially your car horrors! Aaagh. Maybe you are bewitched.

    Can you see this BBC page:

    Wonderful travel photos, imho. Especially the one of the lion + birds. Please keep up your photographs, I love them.

    Do you still use your talktalk email address? Or do you have a new one? This method does feel a tads public.

    Philip D.

    1. Still using Talktalk email address, Philip.
      The travel photographer of the year shows my pictures to be very amateurish, I am afraid.
      Stick to the doctoring, I suppose.

  7. Hi! You probably have no idea who this is, came across your blog when googling the author of the good boy. Bizarrely only a few weeks ago had been talking to David (SGP) about you as he’d seen you at a SHACC meeting. The nurses of leicester are grateful for your teaching and to prove the brilliance of NHS communication we all thought you’d gone to New Zealand! reading your blog it’s a wonderful memorial. Sally (David SGPs practice nurse)

    1. Wow! I am between contracts and hope that Medecins Sans Frontieres will find me a posting soon, just not in West Africa. I know that Kiwi Ian Cross wrote the God Boy, but that was when I was just 4! I am taking part in the STIF course at Oadby Racecourse tomorrow, facilitating a discussion on genital ulceration and talking about taking a sexual history. If you will be attending, let’s have a chat. Best wishes, Ian

  8. Dear Mr. Cross, I am writing to you on behalf of author Mark Hallett (marksabercat.com) to request permission to reproduce your photo of a monitor lizard (img_2386) as a 1 1/2″ x 2″ image in his forthcoming book for sauropod dinosaurs for Johns Hopkins University Press. Can you please contact me at my e-address below or phone [(916) 985-2481]in regard to your terms and permission? Thanks very much! Mike Fredericks, Editor Prehistoric Times magazine

  9. Dear Ian. The Today programme on Radio 4 at its trouble making, self-regarding worst this morning, stirring up a row over the historic handling of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The presenter was provoking aggro between MSF (seen as the good folk here) and the WHO (being chided severely for a slow and inappropriate response in the first days of the outbreak). Quite an ugly confrontation in the studio with a rather bland and self-satisfied woman representing the WHO doing herself not many favours. The MSF guy was more direct and came over much better. The confrontation of course was exactly what the Today presenter wanted! Not sure if any of this is relevant to you in Swaziland, but it does affect the public image of MSF – as I say, seen as the good folk over this topic today. Not sure if you have access to BBC Listen Again. Also not sure if this is the best way to reach you. have also tried via email. vbw Philip D.

  10. Ian,

    Your name came up in recent conversation with an old Peace Corps buddy (Henry Kellam). I had a few minutes to kill, did a search and voila! Found you. So terribly sorry to learn about Sheila’s passing. So glad you are well and doing such amazing things with all the skills and passion you have to offer. Sheila is most certainly proudly smiling down on you every moment of every day. You look the same as you did all those years ago in Kira Kira! Keep up the good work!

    Chris Dixon

  11. What an amazing CV, you have done and seen so much, and given so much too. I studied medicine with the goal of working overseas doing the type of work you are doing, however, life always has surprises up it’s sleeve doesn’t it….I look forward to reading more about you and your endeavours and experiences here. All the best Poli

    1. Thanks, Joanne. When I first began working for Save the Children Fund in 1979, I did it mainly because I wanted to help people overseas. Now I do it because I enjoy it, it’s challenging and fulfilling. MSF/Doctors Without Borders is an amazing organisation, free from political interference, totally independent and neutral. It is a privilege working for the organisation.

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