Jan 23, 2015

Doctor in Love

by Richard Gordon

In this installment of the Doctor series, young Gordon is still pretty fresh out of medical school. He's given up hopes of passing the exams to become a surgeon and establishes himself in a general practice instead. Far from being resigned and resentful at giving up his dreams of surgery, he pitches himself into the practice with eagerness to do his best- I admire that attitude. When the residing doctor goes on extended leave for his own medical problems, Gordon has to run the practice with all its upheavals- an irritatingly irresponsible partner, lack of staff and so on. There's also stories about the various lodging houses and odd flatmates (as before) and a new development when he falls in love with a new partner (surprised that this doctor is a woman), sets his sights on marriage and goes house-hunting. All good tales, and it still got a few chuckles out of me, but somehow I wasn't quite as entertained this time around. I think because there simply weren't as many medical stories, no case studies. It wasn't as much about how he practiced medicine, as his dealings with co-workers, prospective employees, annoying roommates, his new love interest and the like. It was interesting to see the different mindsets from the fifties- still a lot of stereotypes about women, although feminism was a newfangled idea here- and also the National Health system seemed to be new as well. There were a lot of complaints about it, from doctors and patients alike, and comparisons to the "old way" of doing things. So it's a bit of a historical read, as well. Light fun, but one I'm not going to keep. I had to make myself finish it.

Rating: 2/5       188 pages, 1957

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