The Secret Doctor

About the Author: The Secret Doctor

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 208 pages
  • The Secret Doctor
  • The Secret Doctor
  • 03 November 2019

The Secret Doctor Grief Anger Joy Fear Distraction Disgust Hope All Emotions We Expect To Encounter Over Our Lifetime But What If This Was Every Day And What If Your Ability To Manage Them Was The Difference Between Life And Death For A Doctor In Intensive Care This Is Part Of The Job Fear In The Eyes Of A Terminally Ill Patient Who Pleads With You To Not Let Them Die Grief When An Elderly Person Dies Alone Disgust At Having To Care For A Convicted Rapist But There S Also The Hope Found In The Resilience Of A Family And The Joy That Comes With A Meaningful Connection With A Patient, However Fleeting It May Be.These Real Stories Reveal What A Doctor Sees Of Humanity As It Comes Through The Revolving Door Of The Hospital Told Through Seven Emotions That We Can All Empathise With, This Book From The British Medical Association S Own Secret Doctor Gives Us A Unique Window Onto The Other Side Of A Hospital Experience, Showing Us How It Feels To Care For A Living.

10 thoughts on “The Secret Doctor

  1. Jennifer says:

    this is a very thoughtful and compassionate book it would pair very well with

  2. Roisin Healy says:

    There are a lot of medical memoirs out there, but not as beautifully written as this.

  3. Robert Kirwan says:

    I really enjoyed this book A very factual and realistic account of what being a Doctor is I think the thing that resonated with me most was at the end of the book The author wonders how to explain what being a doctor is like to others She ends up describing the job as one that you feel everything which I totally agree with You feel every emotion under the sun on a regular basis.One critique I had about this book was that some of the stories seemed to chop and change The layout of the pages didn t lend to chopping and changing between different patients stories That is a mild complaint though.Overall this is a truthful and genuine look at the profession It s real that Henry Marsh s Do no harm and certainly doesn t come with any of the bravado which I think lends to the honesty in the stories and makes this a very satisfying read.It s very telling that the author was a blogger before this She has a gorgeous way with words and really describes situations with feeling which ties in very well with the set up of each chapter and what I felt she wanted to convey.Great read and very enjoyable

  4. Cristina Costache says:

    If you want to read a book about doctors, about the ones that really love their profession and patients, this is it I devoured it in in 4 hours could have been less, but I secretly didn t want to finish it No TV series, no doctors that give up on their profession, this is the pure dedication, fear, hope, joy, fear, anger, disgust, grief and love that we feel Could not recommend it Burnout is my biggest fear the idea that one day all the intensity might finally become too much for me, that I will lose my energy, my ability to respond emotionally to a situation, or my reliable sense of immense engagement in what I do Who would I be then What would I call myself As Alice asks herself in Alice s adventures in Wonderland What does a flame look like after the candle has blown out I cried because she was supposed to be okay, because eI was screaming inside These aren t the rules We took out the tracheostomy tube she was going to be okay.That is how I think grief most commonly visits me as an unexpected ambush, just when I am bold enough to believe I might have figured it out or even started to feel comfortable in the world of critical care and illness in which I spend most of my days I sat still by my patient I stared at him and he stared at me I wondered if he was really looking at me, or just through me Perhaps he was looking at the face of somebody else that he had known before As I sat there, I went through in my head only words I have ever known to soothe myself in situations like this They come from Raymond Carver And did you get whatYou wanted from this life, even so I did.And what did you want To call myself beloved, to feel myselfBeloved on the earth.I say these words in my head like a mantra, and I hope that the patient knew love or that they at least feel love in that moment at the end Those words are the shield I have made for moments like that The shield is for me It helps me believe that what I can do in those moments counts for something The question is, though, that I haven t quite worked out the answer yet what do I need When a patient s relative hugs me through their sorrow, they put their arms around me and create that bond, even if it s just for a moment, do I expose myself to a bit of their pain Does it make it harder to achieve the distance that lets you move on to the next patient, and the one after that People who work in radiology wear dosimeters on their lapels, small badges that act as a safety net to help them recognise whether their cumulative exposure to radiation is within safety limits I can t help what my grief dosimeter might read.

  5. Caroline TheBookWyrm says:

    A well written, eye opening account of those who provide care at the extremes of human emotions I have a great respect for doctors, and those who work within the medical profession as a whole This book gives great insight into the enormous whirlpool of emotions that those who work in this field must deal with on a daily basis not only their own emotions, but those of patients and their loved ones Abbey is extremely honest about the difficulties she, and many others, have faced, trying to maintain the balancing act between enough empathy, and too much Each chapter deals with one of the seven emotions mentioned in the synopsis at the beginning of this review The chapters focus not only on how these emotions affect the patients and their loved ones, but how they impact on her in her role as a doctor, and as a person The sheer variety of situations which she has had to manage range from long term and chronic illnesses, the anticipated deaths of the elderly and sudden and untimely deaths This is by no means an easy read Abbey s writing style, however, is highly accessible her explanations of the events she describes easy to understand She avoids jargon without making the reader feel patronised, footnotes providing explanations of occasional medical terms where necessary Her tone is factual, conveying the very human side to medicine without any sense of self pity She demonstrates the impact that certain people and circumstances can have There is no way to predict how each person might react, and staff in the caring profession have to be ready to handle anything whilst simultaneously keeping enough distance to perform their jobs, however demanding they might be I found this book highly informative It really makes the reader think about the sheer scale of the emotional pressure which doctors face, and that is on top of the medical expertise they must demonstrate It reminds us that doctors and nurses are still human This was very hard for me to put down I certainly recommend it as one to read but with the caveat that it may evoke a lot of emotions due to the very nature of the subject matter.

  6. Megan says:

    Seven Signs of Life Fear, Grief, Joy, Distraction, Anger, Disgust and Hope Aoife Abbey s first book on her experiences and memories of being an ICU doctor is a truly wonderful and enlightening read.The author has a clear and empathetic voice She describes vivid recollections of her experiences in each chapter I was able to really imagine what kind of person and doctor Aoife is She s honest and critical of herself and her profession She doesn t overly romanticise being a doctor but instead she reflects on her significant interactions with patients and cases over the years which she now understands as signs of life Her lasting note being a doctor feels like feeling everything is emblematic of the book she has written For an author s first book, it is a knock out and I 100% recommend to anyone looking for an alternative read and venture into another s perspective Follow my IG megbookreviews

  7. Anna Maria says:

    Brilliant, heartbreaking, true, compassionate Every emotion wrapped up in this book I have an illness Right now I would love to have this kind doctor looking after me I know we hear bad stories about the NHS, there are some really dedicated people like Aoife Abbey This book may not be for everybody As I worked myself for the NHS prior to retirement I understood every word phrase written perfectly I was passionate about my job If you are not then do not go into the medical caring profession I do not know if this is her real name, she changed the patients hospitals due to confidentiality If it is her real name I hope I meet this lovely lady one day, to Thank Her , and other staff that are sometimes taken for granted I highly recommend this book

  8. Kath says:

    An excellent book which is positive than some of the medical autobiographies that are out today Some people seem to have everything, she is obviously a caring and thoughtful, experienced and well qualified doctor Also from her cover photo a pleasant exterior, as well as a well crafted writer and educated reader, judging from her quotes Perhaps all that s missing is a little light humour as even the slightly comedic episodes are explained very carefully in case anyone should get the wrong impression.

  9. Enid Otun says:

    An excellent account of Intensive care medicine and the emotional journey of its author who has lived and breathed it all the way The way the story has been written is truly exceptional, because we are transported to that place along with the patients and their doctors No one would wish to experience Intensive Care if they could possibly help it, but if they are unfortunate enough to be there I would want them to be in the care of Aoife Abbey

  10. Pipa says:

    This was a good book that towards the end opens up lots of philosophical questions about the nature of life and death, and what it really means to be alive There were a good mix of heartwarming and tragic anecdotes However I do feel like there wasn t a spark in the same way as when I ve read other medical memoirs Can t quite put my finger on how or why.