Confessions of a GP: a year of life, death & earwax by Dr. Benjamin Daniels

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HarperCollins UK (2010)
Adult Nonfiction/Memoir
336 pages

Summary: A woman troubled by pornographic dreams about Tom Jones. An 80 year-old man who can’t remember why he’s come to see the doctor. A woman with a common cold demanding (but not receiving) antibiotics. A man with a sore knee. A young woman who has been trying to conceive for a while but now finds herself pregnant and isn’t sure she wants to go through with it. A 7-year-old boy with “tummy aches” that don’t really exist. These are his patients. A witty insight into the life of a family doctor, this funny and moving account will change the way you look at your doctor next time you pop in with the sniffles. – from Good Reads

This book was quite funny, interesting, sometimes gross and once, so funny I was laughing so hard I was crying, (although to be honest, that part wasn’t written by the author, but was a chain mail that went around online – I even remember getting it once and I’m pretty sure I laughed that hard then too.)

I must say though that reading a book written in the UK is quite challenging as a Canadian. Yes we both speak English but here in Canada, especially so close to the US where I live, we speak a version of English that is much closer to US English.  There was also some UK Spelling which in my part of Ontario at least, we use a bit of (like Colour and Neighbourhood) but some we use the US spelling of (like Tranquillizer – not Tranquilliser like it is in the book.) I knew most of the UK words as I love words but had to look up one of the medications mentioned. E.g. surgery (meaning emergency department) or stroppy (easily offended or annoyed), row (argument), trolley (streetcar) and paracetamol (mentioned often – it’s acetaminophen)

There are two controversial areas of the book that I want to mention. If you are able to read about ideas you may not agree with, then this isn’t a problem. But if you will dislike the whole book because of one opinion, I’d rather you know before you pick up the book.

The doctor sees a patient with measles because his mom chose not to vaccinate him. She believes she just needs to strengthen his immune system with healthy foods and such. Doc explains that’s not how it works. Doc explains his frustrations with those who choose not to vaccinate. Specifically because it puts those children who are unable to vaccinate (because of allergy to vaccination or they are deathly ill) at risk too.

The other has to do with alternative practitioners. The doctor sees a patient who has a simple problem but chooses to see many different alternative practitioners first who do everything but examine the problem area. She ends up back at Doc after having spent lots of money. So Doc makes a comment (not to patient) about his dislike of alternative practitioners.

I did appreciate that all the stories are only a few pages long. It’s good for a quick reads (like in the bathroom)

Links of Interest: NONE YET

Other Reviews: Naomi’s Book Reviews,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.