Kirkus Star


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The title to the contrary, this is not a sentimental adieu (or a Chips off the old guard professional bloc) but a discussion in general of socialized medicine in England today (it can and probably will happen here so it is just as cogent for American readers). And in particular it talks at random about the experiences of Dr. Manngian; his training in surgery, medicine, obstetrics, etc; his views on many of the hornets which buzz around this profession, early specialization first, overspecialization later, mechanized medicine, euthanasia, etc. It also includes a typical day in the life of a National Health Scheme practitioner with 2800 patients: one in which he doctored 34 morning patients in his surgery; made 30 house visits; saw 17 people later that evening; and then faced a night of phone or potential house calls. This led inevitably to be occupational commonplace -- a coronary-i.e. the title. He feels that socialized medicine has done a great many things (some of which are qualified) for the public but it is too rough on the locum. At any rate, his enforced slow-up has led to this book which is humane, honest, pragmatic, realistic and funny. It is a very welcome antidote to the dull books most older doctors have written when, past 80, they have retired not only from practice but from the problems of the age in which they are still living. The only fault to find- it's too short.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1963
Publisher: belard-Schuman