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on 29 June 2010
Being a GP myself, I have to admit I can completely identify with most of the sentiments written by TC. It is a funny and insightful look at the joys and frustrations of modern-day General Practice - a good mix of anecdotes intermingled with explanations of what is currently going on in the politics of Primary Care. Not everyone will like this book as it is a very honest account of how GPs feel day to day but I would say it is well worth reading, if only so people can see what Primary Care is about and what we have to deal with - the good and the bad.
The only gripe is that in some places, there may have been too much emphasis on having a moan, but hey - some days are like that...
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on 27 September 2010
My funny bone was tickled by this book. The true story of a GP's working life, Sick Notes is a behind-the-scenes look at the average doctors' surgery - the part that patients don't usually get to see.

It is an easy read with some great characters - my favourite is the all-seeing reception manager Mrs Peggotty. (Nothing escapes her beady eyes).

Although it really made me laugh, Dr Copperfield makes some really serious points about the hoops that he and his colleagues have to jump through on a daily basis. He gets frustrated and bewildered by the bureaucracy and officials who make his job more difficult. Then there are some very funny anecdotes about the patients who also make his life a misery.

I'll never see my GP in the same light again and I certainly won't say "while I'm here doc" at the end of my consultation, lose my prescription or convince myself that I've got some hideous, incurable disease because I've spent too long on a medical website.

I originally bought Sick Notes on Kindle, but have now bought the paperback for a friend. Buy it, it's a great read.
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on 4 July 2010
I loved him when his column was in the Times every week - but where did Copperfield go? Great to find his wit and humour again. I am not a GP but I would highly recommend this to anyone wonders what it must be like to be on the other side of the consulting room. Funny and insightful.
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on 9 July 2010
An excellent book that kept my attention from cover to cover. Copperfield provides a great insight into general practice for medics and non medics alike. Criticisms match those seen in real life. Would suggest to anyone.
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on 8 December 2012
Another anecdotal book about the life of a GP. Each chapter more or less highlights a particluar ailment and/or patient put across in a humorous way, giving an insight into a GP's life and the way the NHS has evolved into a paper-crunching monster which has tied up a GP's hands!!!!
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on 9 March 2013
When I have cause to visit my GP in the future I will be a more patient person and perhaps not be so quick to criticise him. Until I read this hugely funny, but thought provoking book, I honestly had no idea how the GP, or his/her surgery functioned (but did assume that whatever I was asking for, or about, would be treated dismissively and that whatever I needed would mean a l-o-n-g wait! As I began to read the book I thought it had been written by own GP - who does come across quite abrupt and very cynical (also quite the comedian at times)! As I read further I began to feel as frustrated and angry as GP's might feel - as they try to wade through nonsense, time wasting piles of bulls*** and idiotic targets set by a Government - whose only target is NOT excellent health care but - creating empty promises to keep them looking good in the eyes of the uniformed voting public. How GP's stand the "hoop jumping" exercises set for them to get their referrals is quite beyond me. As a patient who has endured the stupidity of the NHS hospital system and it's asinine guidelines I can only feel as the author of this book feels....hugely frustrated and angry that the NHS functions in such a grossly inefficient manner. As a patient I will now have no expectations of "quality care" but will see myself as a number in a queue...a body with a malfunction which may or may not be fixed with the care and attention I had once believed it would. The NHS is clearly on its way out and after reding this book I can only hope that all the young people today take out Private Health Care Insurance as soon as they begin work...and keep up their payments! Don't learn to rely on the system as us more mature folks do. The system did once work so very, vey well but in this world you get nothing for nothing...and to ensure the old system will die a death sooner than later we can all rely on the Government to ensure eventual death and make way for the pay as you go scheme!
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on 16 February 2012
This book is a well-written and perceptive glance into the world of the GP. It gives the reader insight into the day-to-day routine of General Practice, contains anecdotes about patients, both heart warming and saddening, and is brought to life by the amusing interplay between the author and one of his fellow partners.

However, what this book mostly contains is complaints. In an attempt to illustrate to his audience the frustrations that patients and Primary Care staff experience at the hands of the nightmarish NHS bureaucratic system, Copperfield spends most of the book ranting about Out Of Hours Contracts, QOF points and the Choose and Book System. By the end of the book I had gleaned the impression that this book was written not so much to educate the masses as to provide an outlet for the twenty-or-so years of frustration this good doctor has clearly endured. I would have liked to read more patient cases, and less paperwork-induced angst. As a new doctor I frankly felt both depressed and exhausted by the end of the book.

That being said, Copperfield's writing is engaging, very readable, and at times, extremely funny, even if it does seem to revolve around chocolate Hob Nobs...
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on 5 July 2010
As a dentist, I can relate to much in the book! It is phenomenally funny. I enjoy reading such books, and have read many - this one is among my favourites! It should be mandatory reading for all healthcare professionals, if only to brighten the daily grind of a mundane day at work.
Read It - I am sure most people will enjoy it, then buy a few and send, as presents, to your friends, family and those who need wit and humour in their lives. A Smile a Day keeps the Doctor Away!
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on 4 July 2013
I wouldn't go so far as to describe this book as hilarious, as the product description does, but it does have its funny and certainly quirky moments. Its an easy read, with short chapters which makes it good to read in snippets if you have a busy lifestyle.

Essentially the book is a GP's view of the world, his patients and the NHS. You may have your opinions about how good your doctor is, but have you ever wondered how he/she sees you? Read this and you might be a little more careful about how you treat him or her. Especially as this person has the power to prescribe drugs. I'm not suggesting that any GP would behave in an unprofessional manner, but if he/she has the choice between the drug with the side affect that makes you run to the loo and the one that doesn't, which will they prescribe for you? I guess it depends on how much you have annoyed them.

Of particular note is how Dr Copperfield (I assume thats a pseudonym) sees the rest of the NHS, especially the bureaucracy. If you ever wondered why you kept having to go back to your GP for repeated outpatient referals, or why you seem to be shunted from pillar to post, then this book has the answers. It also tells you why the NHS is so hellishly expensive to run. If there are any budding MPs out there then I suggest that this book is mandatory reading before you stand for election. Mr Osborne and Mr Hunt - if you really want to save Britain money then read this book. Sadly they are unlikely ever to see this review, but I will be sending a link to my local MP.

All in all this book is worth its modest price. I shall certainly not be saying "Oh, and while I'm here" to my Doctor when I next visit. I think all books should be educational, and I did learn a new word: Heartsink. Its not a medical condiction, its what a doctor feels when certain patients enter their consulting room.

Oh, and another a bit of education - antibiotics are no good for colds, flu, sore throats or any sort of virus!
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on 15 March 2013
Very good account of the machinations and machiavellian behaviour of the NHS. I was surprised at the level of cynicism and impatience with people who are, mainly, paying for the service. I think NHS staff often forget this point and practice as though they are doing their patients a favour. Perhaps they forget that we're all human with many positive and negative sides to our characters. We all tend to panic and become anxious when we think there is something wrong with our bodies. On the other hand as part of my (non) medical training I was placed in a GP's practice for several weeks and was, quite frankly, bored to tears most of the time. People attended with boils, cut knees, sore throats, ear wax, etc., etc., etc. So I understand where the frustration and cynicism stems from. I too, worked as a public servant for nearly forty years before retiring. I grew impatient, cynical and frustrated with the service, but never with the people who needed help and support. I remember them fondly for all their failings, transgressions, idiocy, etc., etc. It made me more accepting of my fellow human beings.
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