GP Life: GP Book Group

Hippocratic Oaths, Medicine and its Discontents
Author: Raymond Tallis
Published by Atlantic Books, £19.99 ISBN 1-84354-126-2

Hippocratic Oaths looks at the truth behind the current dissatisfaction with healthcare, and why the extraordinary popularity of alternative therapies is bad for doctors and patients alike. Here's an example.

On dissatisfaction with medicine, it says: 'The curious dissociation between what medi- cine has achieved and the way in which it is perceived originates outside medicine itself... Many things are better than they were, but few things are as good as people have been led to expect.

'The most serious dangers emanate from those for whom the moral high ground is a platform for self-advancement, many of whom have not borne, or been willing to bear, the responsibilities that weigh on the daily life of practitioners. If we are not careful, the patient-as-client will receive service with a smile from a "customer-aware" self-protecting doctor delivering strictly on contract.'

Wow, challenging stuff, and this is just on page two. It's a book of 342 pages, pretty well all of them equally punchy.

This book deserves your time and consideration. Have a look, enjoy the read, and tell us what you think. This group is not just for me to share my enthusiasms. I'm looking forward to sharing yours.

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