BBC Breakfast's Dr Rosemary Leonard shares more incredible stories from her career as a GP. 'I'm in the wrong job,' I said to our practice nurse, 'I should definitely have been a detective.' For Dr Rosemary Leonard, a day in her GP's surgery is full of unexplained ailments and mysteries to be solved.
From questions of paternity to apparently drug-resistant symptoms, these mysteries can sometimes take a while to get to the bottom of, especially when they are of a more intimate nature. In her second book about life in her London surgery, Dr Rosemary recalls some of her most puzzling cases...and their rather surprising explanations.
©2014 Dr Rosemary Leonard (P)2014 Headline Digital
Somebody who hasn't worked in the NHS, specifically in Primary Care in GP surgeries
I am a retired Practice Nurse/Nurse Practitioner of 20 years experience who misses her career and who loves a bit of a reminder of what used to be. However, if any of the GP's I worked with had this attitude, I would have reported them to the BMA! I'm not sure if it was the slightly arch and hectoring delivery but Dr Leonard came across as judgemental, bullying and as having scant regard for confidentiality within the practice. I'm pretty sure that this would not be the case in real life but I was concerned that anyone listening to this who had similar problems would be put off seeing their own GP for fear of the above. Additionally, I felt that Dr Leonard expressed shock and surprise at incidents which are quite common occurrences in General Practice, and that if she really had worked in a Sexual Health clinic in London for some years then she had retained a very low shock threshold! The stereotypical characterisations of "gay sexual experimenter" and "overweight drinker" and "hippy with piercings" et al felt, at times almost offensive. I felt disheartened by this book whereas other books in this genre make me nostalgic or teach me things I did not know. I like to be moved by the care and concern that health care professionals feel for their clients, not invited to laugh at the "stupidity" of people who are overweight, or have sexual or other health problems. In other places it came across as a (very) thinly disguised government health promotion message.
I felt that that Kirsty Besterman portrayed Dr Leonard as being quite cold, brisk and superior, and this may have skewed the tone of the book. There was little warmth in the tone, the accent was very traditional "cut glass RP" and I felt it detracted from any intimacy about the anecdotes. I pride myself on speaking properly but this tone just put my back up from the first.
I suppose if the reader had little or no knowledge about the basics of healthy living and looking after oneself then it may be informative, but I have read many better examples of this genre.
If you are suffering from a health issue which is causing you embarrassment, please don't be put off by this book. The vast, vast majority of GP s and health professionals are warm, sympathetic, non-judgemental and have iron-clad respect for your confidentiality. And are really not as shockable as Dr Leonard seems to be.
"Maybe I wasn't her target audience"
I dunno ...the doctor and I just didn't bond, as she came across a bit too self-impressed for me. Guess she realizes that "sex sells", since the first case is about a man's disappearing penis, with others focusing on pregnancy (three patients, same father), a "routine" pap smear that turned out more difficult than expected due to multiple piercings ("... like a scrapyard down there."), and one where a woman learns NOT to mix Dettol (US: Lysol, I think) in her bath water.
Not sorry I bought it, but not sorry the first book isn't available as an audio either. This was plenty. Afterwards, I watched a clip of Dr. Leonard, finding the narrator got the voice down nearly exactly.
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