|About the Book|
Theres no need for fiction in medicine, for the facts will always beat anything you can fancy. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, MDTwenty - four stories spread across four countries in two continents and over thirty-five years hold as their common theme theMoreTheres no need for fiction in medicine, for the facts will always beat anything you can fancy. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, MDTwenty - four stories spread across four countries in two continents and over thirty-five years hold as their common theme the uniqueness of each encounter between doctor and patient and the need for doctors to be endlessly creative in finding solutions - whether medical, social ,psychological or emotional - that will meet the needs of the individual whole person. Working in the remote rural communities of his native Nepal under a totalitarian and far from benign regime, the author learns early that he must be awa re of not only medical problems but the social, political and cultural context of each and every case. Often as much a detective or a father- confessor as a health practitioner, he discovers that helping individuals to face the truth while saving face can be at least as important as the use of more conventional medical techniques. This knowledge and the all important skill of listening to what is said, and what is not said, prove invaluable in the move to the UK where he encounters deprivation of a quite different sort - the deprivation of lonely old age.Some stories see the author find a solution that others have completely overlooked - there is the man whose complex medical problems all stem from the continuing prescription of the wrong drug, and the elderly woman whose incarceration in a nursing home stems from poorly accomplished surgery and after care. At other times the author acts for what he thinks is the best, only to discover that the consequences of his actions are far more complex than he imagined - there is the girl whose hair-lip he repairs only to see her, now restored to good looks, run off with an unsuitable lover and die at the hands of a back-street abortionist- or the elderly woman whom he assures despite her fears of leukaemia that she is cancer free, only to discover that her stiff neck is not the result of an earlier horse-riding injury but an advanced secondary tumour. These are some of the most moving in the book.Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, nearly every story involves a mystery or problem that the author - and you the reader along with him - feels driven to solve. By applying a combination of the basic principles of medical practice and the skills of a detective, he arrives at conclusions that are often a very long way from what first appearances would have led anyone to believe.