Life and Decline of the Family Doctor
Charles Rees, author
This book comes from my experiences as a family doctor in a small town in Dorset England for 38 years covering 1972 to 2010. During most of that time being a Family Doctor was more than being a General Practitioner. I have tried to explain the changes that occurred without trying to extol the virtues of a golden age which never existed. The process of computerisation, advances in medicine, change in the family, de-skilling of the doctor, training of GPs and the rise of the ‘portfolio’ doctor are covered hopefully without over-doing it. I hope I have explained how doctor and patient became distanced and why. All through this period the control by Government extended. The Doctor now works for the Government and not the patient. Since I retired from the Practice 10 years ago the concept of a patient having their own Doctor for decades or generations has largely gone. What I have tried to do is to explain the changes and why they happened and to do it through the people I lived along side and cared for. They were sometimes hard work, sometimes irritating, often chaotic and occasionally terribly funny. But in the end they were my patients and I was their Doctor.