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on 1 January 2011
Having just finished this book I knew I had to come on here and review it. I thoroughly enjoyed Dr Daniels stories about his patients. There were parts of this book that made me laugh out loud, particuarly the chapters 'Maintaining Interest' and 'Dead People' The chapters are all rather short which makes this a great book for dipping in to or reading for longer periods. Mostly Dr Daniels tells you about his wide range of patients and but there are also some really insightful chapters which are quite thought provoking and open your eyes to some of the things GPs have to endure. It is also sad in places too. All in all a great book and an amazingly cheap price. I'd definitely recommend this book.
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on 3 September 2010
An original book written by a real GP, which will make you laugh out loud and ponder over serious matters, all at the same time. Hilarious and touching. It is divided into easy-to-read chapters and the author's sense of humour, combined with his love for his job make this book a page-turner.

It is a pity that "Dr. Daniels" cannot reveal his true identity for obvious reasons (and thus he will probably not be able to enjoy `ad personam' the success I hope his book will generate), still, well done for having produced such a delightful read. It was refreshing to read about a GP's personal opinion toward certain issues, I am sure it must have been awkward to put some of them in writing -but liberating too I guess!-.

The overall gist was, in my opinion, that GPs, like all human beings, have their feelings and limits, too. And a lot of bureaucracy to deal with. "Dr. Daniels" is no different. Still, his compassion, humanity and dedication to his job are clearly showing through the pages. He will always deal with his patients to the best of his abilities. And his sense of humour is just brilliant. As the saying goes "A laugh a day keeps the doctor away"... You need no prescription, so read this book and give your GP a rest (for a 10 mins slot, at least). Enjoy!
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on 29 September 2015
I cannot understand why, for once, I did not read the reviews on this book. I am a retired GP ad thought this book would show the lighter side of general practice, of which there is a large amount. However, it fails totally. I have never found a book which was meant to be funny, to be so dire. The only part I have laughed at was the section of exerpts from other doctors' medical notes. This has been around for years and is hilarious, though how 'Dr Daniels' (presumably not his real name) has been allowed to put this in HIS book I cannot understand. Dr Daniels comes across as an unhappy, pontificating, self absorbed person who should not be doing general practice. I have staggered along to just beyond half way through this book but doubt I shall finish it as it depresses me. One of my GP partners once remarked how most people came out of my room laughing, and he wished he could have that effect on patients. Yes I did deal with their problems seriously, but there is, almost always, a lighter side. I didn't like all my patients and they didn't all like me but that is something you have to learn to deal with. Regarding the young man who died following the consulatation in the reception, being pleased he was not responsible for his death, was appalling. It would have been more acceptable if he had spent some time listening to him in private, but not to do so because he was looking forward to his couple of pints at the pub was beyond belief. What made me gasp out loud was the tale of the 'f***ing huge' (sic) patient with whom he went to a lot of trouble to get him admitted to hospital, and then said he didn't know what the outcome had been as he moved on to another job. If he had really been a caring professional, he would have rung up and found out. He doesn't really give the impression of caring about any of his patients. It is a job to him, not a vocation.
My son-in-law is just at the end of his GP training and I had thought this book might be worth getting for him, but I wouldn't dare to give it to him. I think he would give up medicine altogether if he thought he was going to turn out like this GP.
I see there is follow up book to this one. Guess what...I will NOT be getting it!
Follow up
Well, against my better judgement, I did finish the book. In the comments at the end I was astounded to see that the book is a NOVEL. It is written by a doctor (Ben Daniels is the pseudonym of a doctor) but the people in it are figments of his imagination and the stories are made up. This explains the lack of follow up on several of the patients and even explains some of the language ( a few too many f words for my liking). It also explains why some of the time he refers to himself as a locum, but then he refers to the staff in 'his' practice. How bizarre...there are so many stories in General Practice that you really don't need to make them up. Even asking for colleagues' stories would have been better. If I could I would take away the one star. It is quite inexplicable.
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on 4 September 2011
I was eager to read this book as I worked as a Doctor's Receptionist for several years; I thought it would be good to see it from the Doctors perspective. I think I should write a book from the receptionist's point of view, I have many a tale there.....
Well this book is very amusing! I was sat on the train and had to stifle a few laughs. I thought the short chapters were good because it kept each section short and interesting.
In the book there was a couple of chapters about drugs reps, I found myself nodding my head in agreement as to how persistent they were. I remember fending off at least two a day, but I did marvel how the "pretty" ones seemed to get through. The Doctor's at my practice were really nice to us and used to give us the bounty from the drugs reps, we came home with loads of stationery and mugs.
Overall I found this book had a nice easy feel to it, but, it did lose points as some of the chapters seemed a little disjointed. Would I recommend this book? Yes, because I do think the stories are fun and entertaining.
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on 18 April 2015
Dr Benjamin Daniels is a fine observer of the human condition. It probably makes him a good GP. It certainly makes him a good commentator and sketch writer, as he demonstrates here in over a hundred short pieces on life in as a GP in the NHS.

There are quite a few on the frustrations of process and politics in the health service but the bulk are centred on his patients: their lives, their conditions, their fears and their foibles. At times it’s amusing, or heart-breaking, or thought-provoking, or anger-inducing (and sometimes all of the above) but it’s always interesting. He writes well, concisely and with feeling, of the everyday as well as of the bizarre or unusual.

It’s a good book to dip in and out of – indeed, that’s the best way to read it as it’ll become repetitive to aim to read straight through; for all the variety in a GP practice, it’s all centred around the same sort of activities. Some will find Daniels too judgemental. I’m not sure that’s entirely fair. He certainly is judgemental but not, I think, without reasoning his judgement first. After all, he sees and has to deal with the consequences of people’s choices so it’s fair enough for him to have a view on them – and it would be a dull book if he didn’t. His political views could perhaps best be described as of the managerialist liberal left and permeate his writing throughout: he would clearly prefer politicians and the bureaucracy they create to stay away from his services (although he’s more than happy for the taxpayer to keep funding them).

Overall, it’s interesting, entertaining and insightful but having read it all, I feel a little unfulfilled, possibly because of a sense of not quite being spoken to as an equal (almost like visiting a GP in that sense); more listening to a kindly-meant lecture. Still, that’s maybe a price worth paying for the rest.
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on 3 August 2011
I was drawn to this book to see if it truly reflects life working in a GP Surgery & having worked for a surgery for 14 years I can honestly say it does! The author/GP wrote well of his experiences & battles he faces daily. Same as the GPs I worked for he has a sense of humour (so necessary) & yet empathy & compassion where needed. It was refreshing to read the human reaction of his visit to the obese patient (stomach churning) & being unable to clean up after the patient & needing the district nurse to pick up the peices....a recognised unsung hero of the nhs!
This book should be available in surgery waiting rooms......!
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on 4 January 2011
This book allows you to get into the head of a GP to find what he really thinks of being a doctor and it seems he gives a very unadulterated account of how it is.
Yes he comes across as opinionated, if he didn't there would be no basis of this book.
It is easy to read and requires no great concentration but it does give you an interesting view into the head of a doctor.
Funny at times, truthful but perhaps hard to swallow at other times.
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on 8 January 2013
What has the potential to be a great book didn't turn out that way, very self indulgent and whines throughout, must be hard to be paid a lot and openly admit to not doing much and giving out prescriptions to shut patients up!
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on 29 January 2016
I sadly have to give this book a 1.
Whilst there were bits that made me giggle and I could totally relate too, other bits just sounded whiney and like he probably should change his area of work. As a health professional I get It's hard, but I just didn't understand his view point.

But for me the thing I found sad was his general overview of mental health.
As a mental health professional who had borderline personality disorder diagnosis (it is possible!!!) I just found it plain insulting, prejudice and stigmatising and I hope he was made to go and do some extra training! From the view point of a professional just as much as a sufferer.

When I was studying I was once told by a social worker gps were the worst for stigmatising and being generally insulting. Which I never believed as I know so many great ones, but can totally understand now why some people get this impression..
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on 14 April 2011
I loved this book. It is insightful and funny. Well written and a joy to read. It has also given me some good advice on what to do or not do when I next visit my GP! A truely insightful book into the mind of the modern GP and some of the more "interesting" cases.
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