Top positive review
An okay read
on 14 January 2018
This book is written by Dr Tony Copperfield, who is actually a pseudonym for the two doctors that wrote the book (understandably, they did not want to use their real names!) The names used for the patients are also made up, although it does say that all the stories are real, although some may have been slightly embellished for the sake of the book. There is an ever so slight dislike of those of the lower social classes through this book. While I know that this is probably just added as part of the story, the authors do come across as slightly snobby in places.
What I would have thought of as the usual GP niggles are all present in this book, the patients who self diagnose, people who develop symptoms after watching something on TV and those patients who go to the doctor every time they cough – as you ‘ can never be too careful.’ The local hypochondriacs also get a mention and the techniques that GP’s use to deal with them. There is an example in the book of a patient who, over the course of 10 years, racked up 1500 visits to their GP, an average of 3 times a week! Some of the stories in the book are quite predictable, such as the people who turn up demanding antibiotics for every cough and cold and won’t take no for an answer. People are also getting smarter, they know that by having a ‘chest infection’ or ‘tonsillitis’ (self diagnosed naturally!) there’s a better chance of getting the antibiotics. The author does mention that some of the most persistent (read annoying) do get their prescription for their antibiotics, but the ones with the most side effects.
This is mostly a humourous look into the life of a GP, with a bit of NHS bureaucracy bashing thrown in for good measure, but there is also a nod to the tougher side of being a GP and telling patients bad news. I found the part about telling the patient the real reason for his unusual symptoms really sad and hard to read. It also showed me that behind the humour, the authors can also show real emotion in this book. There were also a few shocks in this book, endings to patient’s stories that I really wasn’t expecting.
This book also shows that GP’s are human, that they get fed up too, and use humour as a way of dealing with the stress of the jobs. The authors do make it very clear that they enjoy their job, but there are the downsides of working as a GP. I found the book a very interesting read, partly because of some of the random things that they are asked and the answers given, the patients who are annoying for various reasons and the politics that make the job harder for the GP’s.
Overall, this book is a good read. I found it slightly annoying in places, but the good parts more than made up for the slightly annoying parts.