I picked up this book reading the blurb.
After a year on the streets treating outreach patients, Max Pemberton is back in the relative comfort of hospital. This time running between elderly care and dementia clinic to A&E and outpatients. No longer inexperienced(Max and his doctor friends can now tell when someone is actually dead, they are on the front line of patient care for better or worse.
One of the non-fiction books that actually touched my heart, made me feel glad that there are doctors out there that care, not that one really doubts that, but sometimes it gets easy to wonder.
Max Pemberton is a junior doctor with the NHS. He has just started work at the hospital after a year treating outreach patients. He says that ‘Within twenty four hours I had gone from a hanging around street corners, wearing jeans and a t-shirt an bribing patients so I could check their blood pressure, to being a proper, tie wearing, stethoscope waving medic.’
He works with the A&E as well as at the dementia clinic and elderly care. He talks about how almost all doctors of other specialties can claim to have gotten their patients to recover, but someone working with the elderly and dementia, could probably never get to say that. The difficulties that both patients, care homes and doctors face in elderly care makes a heart-rending read. Especially impressive is the ways that nurses and carers find to work around difficult patients who have lost their memories, and try to live their lives with scraps of what they remember from their previous lives. Elderly patients who are themselves carers of older partners, and more worried about their partners than themselves, when they get admitted into a hospital for something like a heart attack. Some instances bring a smile to our faces, while some are heart-breaking.
Along with his professional life, he also touches upon the personal lives of himself and his friends. The choices they make, and how life is never what it seems to be. How the most unlikely people turn up surprises of the most pleasant sort. It gives a real insight into the lives of medical professionals who battle with so many different things while providing us with healthcare of all sorts. Sometimes A&E staff is even forced to call upon firefighters to help, not once but twice. It gives a real insight into the NHS, the challenges and the opportunities that they face. Of how some doctors and medical professionals go that extra mile when it comes to patient care.
Written with self deprecating humour, his deep dedication to his job, and his patients comes through in every page of this book. You reach the end of the book, hoping that it would go on and on. I haven’t read his previous books, but can’t wait to read them now. I wouldn’t miss them for the world. One of the best books I have read recently. I would give it a 4.5/5.