Confessions of a GP, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Benjamin Daniels is angry. He is frustrated, confused, baffled and, quite frequently, very funny.

He is also a GP. These are his confessions. A woman troubled by pornographic dreams about Tom Jones.

An 80-year-old man who can't remember why he's come to see the doctor.

A woman with a common cold demanding (but not receiving) antibiotics.

A man with a sore knee. A young woman who has been trying to conceive for a while but now finds herself pregnant and isn't sure she wants to go through with it.

A 7-year-old boy with 'tummy aches' that don't really exist. These are his patients. Confessions of a GP is a witty insight into the life of a family doctor.

Funny and moving in equal measure it will change the way you look at your GP next time you pop in with the sniffles.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781906321888

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

This book wasn't too bad although some bits made uncomfortable reading. Written by Benjamin Daniels, a GP of over 3 years, it's made up of small chapters, 2 - 3 pages long. Some parts were refreshingly honest but I did find Daniels to be quite judgemental. Not a bad read if your not looking for anything serious.

Review by

I thought, for what this book is, it was a good read. I enjoyed it, the chapters were short and I thought there were enough details about each 'patient'.

Review by

This book, written under a pseudonym of course, didn't get off to the best of starts - not because of the writing or the narrative style, but because of the silly editorial slips. You all know how much I LOVE those! Within the first few pages I had noted a 'passed' instead of 'past', the use of 'sixteen' and '16' in the same sentence, and a 'their' and 'there' left side by side, as if the incorrect one should have been edited out but wasn't. Later on, I even stumbled across an 'illicit' instead of 'elicit'. Really glaring mistakes, in other words. FORTUNATELY the actual content of the book was absorbing, interesting and funny enough to redeem it - hence the four stars. One thing I really liked about <i>Confessions</i> is how 'everyday' this doctor's stories are. He's not an A+E doctor (though obviously there are one or two stories from his training days) or a surgeon, but a garden-variety GP, a man on the front line and the gateway to most NHS services. Rather than extreme cases, this book is more concerned with giving insight into the variety of presenting complaints made to a GP on a day-to-day basis and showing how much further a GP's role goes than we might realise. I reckon I'll be less inclined to grumble next time my doctor's running late, for example, because it's clear that not every problem can be tackled in ten minutes, and often the patients that cause appointments to run late are the most vulnerable and important of the day. Of course, the most delightful moments in the book often stem from Daniels' stories of memorable patients, from the hilarious (an elderly lady's rectal exam had me in fits of laughter) to the tear-jerking (like when the hospital doctors conspired to reunite a lady who had been paralysed by a stroke with her beloved pet cat on her birthday, despite the strict ward rules). What I also really liked about this book was the fact that because it's written under a pseudonym, the doctor behind it is able to be brutally honest about various political and social issues he has come up against over the years. For example, he unleashes his contempt over a posh London yuppie who came in with a son suffering from a severe bout of measles. The boy had never been vaccinated against any of the horrific diseases that can affect children, because his mother was convinced that she could "boost his immune system naturally" with a whole food diet. As a reader, I was horrified at her naïvety - and Daniels was understandably even more so: <i>"I believe the one great achievement of modern medicine is the widespread vaccination of children. Vaccines are cheap, safe and have saved millions of lives both here and all over the world... There it was: measles... As a doctor who had only practised medicine in the twenty-first century, I should never have seen this disease... He can eat all the organic dates and wholemeal rice in the world, it won't give him immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, diptheria, tetanus, meningitis C, whooping cough, haemophilus influenza and tuberculosis... Not all children can have vaccines. They can be harmful to children who have diseases of their immune system such as HIV or those having chemotherapy for cancer. Previously, these children were protected because healthy children were all vaccinated and so a disease outbreak was prevented... Vaccinating isn't just about protecting your own child."</i>It is stories - and explanations - like this slotted alongside the funny anecdotes, bizarre patients and heartwarming moments that make the book so thought-provoking and elevate it beyond 'just another doctor memoir.' Daniels shares his thoughts on everything from a doctor's role in society, doctor-patient relationships, the cost of NHS treatment, privatisation and the differences between hospital and general practice work, to time wasters, sick note scroungers, drug addicts, government meddling, NHS targets and the way drug reps operate. Not only that, but he manages to do it in a way that is simultaneously funny and telling, pithy and insightful. In the end, despite those dreadful editorial mistakes, I really enjoyed this book, and might even keep hold of it to reread sometime. It made me think about certain elements of healthcare in a different way, and made me laugh out loud more than a few times... what more could I ask for?