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The Cure for Good Intentions

Sophie Harrison

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Medical profession

A compelling, outstandingly direct and genuine book about how a doctor is made

'When I was twenty-eight I trained as a doctor. Initially everyone was interested. Amazing! people said, when I told them. What made you do that? I couldn't find a short answer. Sometimes I said, "I had a revelation on a beach." It was partly true'

The Cure for Good Intentions is about a life-changing decision. Sophie gave up her job as an editor at a prestigious literary magazine and put herself through medical school and hospital training before eventually becoming a GP. From peaceful office days spent writing tactful comments on manuscripts she entered a world that spoke an entirely different language. She was now inside scenes familiar from television and books - long corridors, busy wards, stern consultants, anxious patients - but what was her part in it all? Back in the community as a brand-new GP, the same question grew ever more pressing.

This is a book about how a doctor is made: it asks what a doctor does, and what a doctor is. What signifies a doctor: a caring-yet-brisk bedside manner? A mode of dress? A stethoscope? A firm way with a prescription pad? What is empathy, and what does it achieve? How do we deal with pain, our own and other people's? The Cure is an outsider's look at the inside of a profession that has never been so scrutinised, or so misunderstood.

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