Friday, 13 March 2015

Confessions of a GP - Benjamin Daniels

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The book came under my radar when it came up on the the World book night list for 2014. Since then, I have been waiting to get my hands on it and finally found it in a charity bookshop. Reason for picking it up? Well, having a GP for a husband I was looking forward to finding out what this book can enlighten me about, that I already did not know.

Well, I was surprised to learn a few new things. Also, the book made for some good light reading.

The Gist:

The book is a series of anecdotes of this doctor his day to day work life, experiences and the people he meets as a result of his job.

The narratives are neatly divided into easily digestible chapters. Each chapter is a short narrative touching on the NHS, comparision between healthcare at home and abroad, his patients, their myriad issues not always medical and his work life on the whole.

The book offers some refreshing insight into what goes on in a doctor's life. Contrary to the popular belief that the doctors earn millions just by spending few designated hours behind a desk, this book tells us of the pressures they face.

The challenges due to the policy changes, the rigours of making that split decision that goes this way or another, the various factors that make NHS unique make for some good reading.

What works:
  • The book encapsulates the gist of what it is to be a doctor. It educates at the same entertains through its swift and concise narratives. 
  • Short individual chapters mean you can dip in as and when and carry on. 
What doesn't:
  • The chapters offer only a birds eye view instead of a comprehensive picture. 
  • They seem tailored for people who have a short attention span and cannot be trusted with longer chapters and detailed insights.
  • The book maybe enjoyed more by reluctant and light readers who do not prefer the rigours of a big book. However, voracious readers like me can feel shortchanged since all the book offers is a delicious bite while denying the whole snack.
I can see why the book was recommended for the World Book Night. It is indeed a good book for reluctant readers. However, seasoned readers may find it a bit wanting.

Having said that, I see this book as a great idea to gift someone contemplating a career as a GP. The book offers a good idea of life as a doctor and those aspiring to become one can draw enough information to make up their minds about it.

For seasoned readers I have another recommendation. After reading the Confessions, I came across another book with a similar subject called The Country Doctor by Micheal Sparrow. I found it far more interesting and enjoyable.

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