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pennyfraserportraitDr Penny Fraser  MB BS BSc(HONS) MRCS(ENG)

Dr Penny is a British-trained Emergency Medicine doctor, who lives in Geneva.  She is also the mother of two girls aged 9 and 10. Along with Dr Michelle Wright and her other colleagues at HealthFirst, she has a passion for delivering health education and First Aid training to the English-speaking community in Switzerland. 

HealthFirst provides a range of practical, interactive First Aid courses including a unique Mountain First Aid Course and a First Aid course, obligatory for the Swiss Driver’s Licence, and suitable for anyone from the age of 14.


healthfirst kneeinjury1
(c) copyright HealthFirst 2015

My colleague, Dr Michelle, is an experienced family doctor, and deals with the bumps and scrapes of winter sports injuries.  She is also a very keen skier both on and off piste and so brings a personal passion to this topic.

She has written such an excellent, accessible and informative article that I would like it to share with you: all about snow sports safety and the risks of knee injury.  Take five minutes to read on to find out more….

By Dr Michelle Wright, HealthFirst

Snow sports are generally safe. The risk of sustaining an injury whilst enjoying these activities remains very low. There are somewhere between 2-4 injuries for every 1000 days spent on the slopes. This means that happily, most of us will enjoy skiing, snowboarding etc. all of our lives and not sustain any significant injury.

However, if there is one injury that we all dread, it’s a knee injury. The vast majority of knee injuries involve damage to knee ligaments. There are four main ligaments in the knee which can become sprained (stretched) or torn (ruptured) to varying degrees.


By Dr Penny Fraser, HealthFirst

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire alongside Nat King Cole.  We all want some figgy pudding, don’t we? (and bring some right here!)  Not to mention the obligatory Bridget Jones style festivities: “It all began on New Years Day….once again I found myself…..going to my mother’s annual turkey curry buffet."

It’s the season of stretching wallets but also stretching our stomachs with unusually rich foods, plenty of them and usually dissolved in more-than-usual champagne, brandy and other delights.

Often our bodies do complain to us in various ways over the holiday period, including the unpleasantness of dyspepsia.  This is the medical name for the group of symptoms that come from the upper part of your digestive tract – the oesophagus (food pipe or gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of your small intestine).


We have all heard of the importance of learning CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) - we see it in the movies, we read of amazing success stories in the news, a lot of us have even been on a course years ago.  But somehow it can be just a bit too scary to think about - anxiety, fear of facing such an emotional subject or just that life gets too busy with other things.  

Sometimes reading the objective scientific evidence and gaining an overall view of exactly what happens when a person's life is saved, can dissolve the anxiety and result in determination to understand more.  Read on....

teenagers pennyblog

My colleague, Dr Michelle, has worked for many years in the world of family medicine - including for teenagers. And, of course, with their mums and dads who, just like you, worry about their children's health, safety and happiness today and for the future too.

She has written such an excellent, accessible and informative article that I would like it to share with you, all about cervical cancer and how we can protect our daughters with the HPV vaccine – available now in Switzerland. Do you know what cervical cancer is? Take five minutes to read on to find out more….


Miserable kiddies with a fever and a rash are part of being a parent – I’ve certainly been there with my two daughters.

But when is it something that can be treated at home with some painkillers, water and a cuddle? When is it something that needs to be checked by the doctor?

One of the important diseases that must be seen by a doctor is measles (rougeole in French, Masern in German).  This is a serious disease caused by a virus that is very contagious - in fact 90% of non-immune people living with someone who has measles will catch it.  The disease is spread by coughs and sneezes, as well as contact with objects such as door handles, toys etc. that have the wet spray from the coughs and sneezes on them.