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Summary

Welcome to the life of Dr Max Skittle. Therapist, relationship counsellor, social worker, friend, parent-figure - and, yes: doctor. 

Join Max - and his patients - as he takes us on a rollercoaster journey through a year in the life of a doctor: from infected toenails, to wonky elbows, to erectile disfunction, to bed bugs; the happy couple expecting a surprise new baby; the teenage girl struggling with body image issues; the loving family grappling with grief, Max shows us all the highs and crushing lows that come with being a GP - and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives forever. 

This is what really goes on in your local doctor's surgery - spilt urine bottles, existential crises, emails back and forth with social services, utterly unexplainable health problems and appointments always running late - told by a man who, despite it all, really loves his job. 

Previously published as The Secret GP.

©2020 Dr Max Skittle (P)2020 Bonnier Books UK

What listeners say about The Secret Doctor

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What seems to be the problem has been done before

The Secret GP is written by Dr Max Skittle (not his real name) in the style of Adam Kay author of the phenomenally successful memoir "This is Going to Hurt". It consists of amusing diary entries from mid 2018 to mid 2019 with anecdotes about bodily fluids and patients who present with embarrassing conditions against a backdrop of Dr Skittle's private life which consists of his wife and baby son and their city lifestyle.

Whilst medical memoirs are by no means a new genre, Dr Skittle has tried to emulate Adam Kay's winning formula but unfortunately it does not work nearly as well. Firstly, Adam Kay was a full time comedy writer for nearly a decade prior to his foray into book writing and Dr Skittle's sense of the comic skills are not nearly has honed. Secondly, compared to Adam Kay's memoirs of being an obstetrician, the world of General Practice is, how should I put this, a little dull in comparison. Thirdly, whilst Adam Kay uses his organ to rage about the state of the NHS, Dr Skittle does not think it is too bad and even compliments the government for their handling of the COVID 19 pandemic. And fourthly, whilst Adam Kay's back story is riddled with strains on his personal relationships as a result of working inhumanly long shifts in a hospital, Dr Skittle seems quite pleased with his lot as a comfortable GP seeing patients four days a week.

Having said that, the book does does give some insight into the life of a family doctor. And yes there are pressures resulting from unrealistic expectations from patients who wait for two weeks for a ten minute meeting leading to the greatest scourge of family doctors which is self diagnosis using Google. A family doctor is the gatekeeper of the NHS and there is certainly more to it than some GPs make out i.e. either prescribing antibiotics or referring to a hospital specialist. Dr Skittle rightly says that a good family doctors should give patients what they need rather than what they want and should be careful not to be too popular on the recommendation sites as that is a sign that the need / wants may be out of balance. What seems to be the problem is this has been done before, and a lot better.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not the best narration

Whilst I enjoyed the content and story of this book, I really felt that the narrator didn't bring the personality of "Dr Skittle" to life. What should be cynical, dark "NHS" humour, really missed the mark on execution.
Nonetheless, I did enjoy listening to this book on my commute to and from my NHS hospital based job...!

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Brilliant! Funny and insightful. Really enjoyed it. Renewed respect for GPs and of course the NHS!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing & insightful

What a wonderful listen. I was taken in completely by the second paragraph. Moving, hilarious, thoughtful. You don't normally get to hear the life of a GP so this was fascinating. You don't realise that some doctors really do care and that you aren't just the next patient.

Dr 'Max Skittles", I wish you were my GP!

2 people found this helpful

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I love this book!

Amazing and well descriptive. Both funny and sad, done brilliantly. Really give you an insight into the life of a GP.

2 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed

I really enjoyed !
Found it light and easy to listen to !
Nice to relate to a human 😂

1 person found this helpful

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Not to much about being a GP

After reading the secret barrister was excited to read this but was left feeling underwhelmed.

1 person found this helpful

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brilliant

fantastic insight into the workings of a GP. As a Practice nurse I was laughing through :)

1 person found this helpful

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Informative Interesting

Enjoyed your book Dr.Max. Interesting to get the GP view of a consultation. More books?

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting listen.

I enjoyed the title but! A bit too much pontificating later in the book. Still I listened without wanting to turn off or swap to another title.

1 person found this helpful