The Last, the Least, the Lonely and the Lost

The Last, the Least, the Lonely and the Lost

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This eclectic memoir spans nearly 70 years, including over 50 years of medical experiences, and describes the intriguing journey of a doctor in a changing world. From working class roots in Glasgow, the author includes student adventures and travels, the rigours of postgraduate training, and the richness and variety of a peripatetic medical life. It is a rollercoaster ride of joy, disappointments, serenity, turbulence, poignancy, adventures, mishaps, serendipity and discovery. Firmly rooted in reality, the narrative includes unique insights into the human condition: the challenges of inner-city general practice in Glasgow, Melbourne and Auckland, the rhythms of life and death in English rural practice, the dramas of medical care on the edge of the Arctic Circle, the tumult and rewards of addiction medicine in the Antipodes, the highs and lows of life in Universities and Royal Colleges.

The narrative of the author’s life is set within the context of the events and locations of the time. The reader is transported from the austerity of post-World War II Glasgow and London via Yugoslavia, the USA, South Africa, Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar to today’s cognitively dissonant world of disinformation and the COVID pandemic. The sweep of history is leavened with personal anecdotes, intimate descriptions of moving, dramatic and amusing clinical encounters. Combining scholarship with the authenticity of the moment, it provides the perspectives of a general practitioner, an addiction medicine specialist and an academic. The journey ends with some thought-provoking reflections on the past and future of medical practice in our seismically changing world.

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Tags: Biography