How Not To Be A Doctor is a series of essays about being a Doctor and the bits we do not see as patients. John will pick you up and place you directly into the mind of a Doctor and you will see everything. You will experience what a Doctor thinks about during consultations, and whether they are really listening to what you say. You will hear views and opinions of Doctors about the system and their colleagues it is a real eye opener. 

What this book made me really think about was although, I am fully aware is that Doctors are humans, they will have off days when they do not want to attend consultations and may not be listening fully and Doctors will make mistakes. But, it also made me reflect about how amazing the National Health Service and this is perhaps a book that should be read by the Secretary of State for Health and the Health Ministers so they get an understanding of what actually happens on the ground. 


“Time and again, Doctors have to re-learn that what patients seem to value in us is not usually technical expertise and certainly not charm. It may be the thing that we try our hardest to avoid; being ourselves.”


“Over the years, I have spent quite a lot of time thinking, teaching and writing about supervision in medicine. Like most people who have been drawn towards the subject, I have become fascinated by the way that supervision lies at the intersection of factual knowlege and self-awareness and by the opportunities it offers for both technical and ethical development.”

I love these type of books where you learn the “nitty gritty” of the health service. John is brutally honest about the profession, but in a respectful way not just being critical it is a balanced view. This is a book that you all need to read and I believe once you have, you may think differently towards the Doctors and the Health Service. 

About the Book 

Doctor and medical columnist John has written on the practice and teaching of medicine for many years. Originating from popular columns John has written for medical journals, the essays range from the title essay How Not To Be A Doctor, an ironic piece illustrating how being authentic as a Doctor may mean behaving in ways you were never taught in medical school; to a story of the imagined conversation between two prehistoric medical men on the primitive diet; to the author’s poignant account of being a patient himself as he received treatment for a life-threatening illness.

This book is published by Duckworth Overlook 

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