While I’m Here Doc

While I’m Here Doc

Illuminating anecdotes, drawn from forty years of patient consultations illustrate the life of a family doctor working when general medical practice was very different from today. The GP cared for patients night and day, every day of the year and personal and professional lives intertwined.

Colourful personalities, conniving rogues, the deceitful and the desperate, saint and sinner passed through the consulting room to provide fascinating glimpses of individuals, the doctor’s life and the vagaries of human existence. Their tales are fascinating and a record of the social and medical fabric of the time.

Publisher: IMCI Publications


Book Reviews


“While I’m here Doc”.  Iain B. McIntosh


It has been with interest and enjoyment that I have read his excellent book –which reflects a full and committed life spent practicing medicine in a community where the author was clearly an integral part.

This book embraces modern history and the need for medicine to address social deprivation, industrial related disease and chronic ill health, with a limited armamentarium of effective drugs. It highlights the many highly individualistic patients who came under the gp’s care. The eloquent descriptions of these interfaces are flavoured with humour, insight and sensitivity and make for an excellent, unique and readable book. Its pages are a testimony to a remarkable practitioner who was a driving force for modernization of his practice and the medicine emanating from it- latterly with ancillary staff and use of computers to deliver high quality holistic care to patients. The many interesting stories and asides make this tome of multifaceted interest – and reflects more than three decades of selfless professional life by a perceptive and caring doctor

 C C Smith FRCP


Book review

The author, Iain McIntosh, will be very familiar to BGTHA members through his work for the Association from its inception and to a wider audience for his writing and teaching, particularly on travel health and care of the elderly, over many years. With “While I’m Here” he has ventured into fiction,

The book follows the career of Allan Welman from the dramatic events of his first day as a GP in a small Scottish town and the surrounding countryside through to the modern era of general practice. On the way he encounters a wide variety of personalities among his patients, and deals with situations ranging from unexpected childbirth to traumatic amputation in a road traffic accident. The “heart-sink” patients, the hypochondriacs and the frankly delusional all beat a path to his door, as well as the stoics, the “salt of the earth” characters, the feckless and the simply evil. As I read this book I was struck by the fact that Iain appeared to be writing, not only of a world with which he was very familiar, but also of one which struck many chords with me from a similar period of general practice in a small Cumbrian town and its hinterland.

In these days of targets, box-ticking and increasing political interference in primary care, readers will enjoy this fictional account, based on personal experience, of what I am sure will become, if it is not already, regarded as the golden era of general practice.

 Mike Townend      MBChB


The On-line version of this book is available:- www.bgtha.org/publications/book-shop .

Price £2.99

(BGTHA members discount of 10%). Please visit the members area to retrieve the code.

Paperback edition : www.fast-print.net/bookshop/1987/while-i-039-m-here-doc

£5.95. incl. postage or from good bookshops and Amazon