This piece was narrated on BBC Radio 4 on 26 Apr 2020: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08bjlqw

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I just called, to say… your husband has been admitted to the intensive care unit.

I could sense your shock even over the telephone. I realised you had only left for home a few hours earlier. I wondered if you imagined that he would be the unfortunate 10–15% of coronavirus patients needing intensive care. I wondered if you knew that it took several consultants to decide to bring him to intensive care unit. …


This was a commissioned Lent talk for BBC Radio4’s. It was broadcast on 24 February 2021: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000sh9h

Dear Lydia,

Sleeping peacefully in my arms, you are our ray of sunshine, our bundle of joy, our beacon of hope. Outside our embrace however, the world seems far less hopeful. See, you were born in the middle of a pandemic. COVID19 has ravaged our social landscape, torn apart the fabric of our society, and robbed us of many things we have taken for granted.

Daddy is an anaesthetics and intensive care doctor. He has been caring for the sickest patients, whose bodies…


After considerable interest in my Facebook post on our pearl oyster mushrooms, I have decided to write some general instructions to growing oyster mushrooms.

Keep up with my mushroom growing (and writing and other things) on Instagram (markzytan) or Twitter (@markzyi).

Note: Many of these techniques can also be used for other edible mushrooms.

Oyster Mushroom basic biology
Pleurotus ostreatus is a edible saprophytic fungus, meaning it processes dead organic matter through active endocytosis of materials into the hyphae. Since there are no UK-native mushrooms which look similar, it is a good candidate to begin exploring fungi cultivation. …


A imagined COVID19 intubation experience

Gown, gloves, goggles and masks, a faceless gang of three.
Gang, yes, a fitting image indeed, storming into the bay “guns a-blazing”. A kidnapping maybe, or extrication perhaps, it’s difficult to tell. After all, it’s been a fortnight of symptoms, my body and mind are exhausted.

“Hello, my name is Dr Lee”, you say, “intensive care”.

Ah, I realise my predicament.

Chugging away, consciousness clouded, I conjure carriages approaching on the rails of the bed where I’m laid, eagerly awaiting a saviour. Batman or Ironman seem fitting, but so does Vader or Bane. After all…


Opening line for Satie’s Gymnopedie №1

This is an extract from a piece published in Hektoen International Journal of Medical Humanities: https://hekint.org/2019/11/04/gymnopedie/

Gymnopédies

“Oblique et coupant l’ombre un torrent éclatant Ruisselait en flots d’or sur la dalle polie Où les atomes d’ambre au feu se miroitant Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie”

“Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream Trickled in gusts of gold on the shiny flagstone Where the amber atoms in the fire gleaming Mingled their sarabande with the gymnopaedia.”
- J.P. Contamine de Latour

Leigh started playing outside the double doors leading into the first bay of four female patients. She walked, while playing, into…

Mark ZY Tan

Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Doctor in Northwest England. NIHR ACF. mark.tan.zy@gmail.com

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