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News > OE News > Patients, Pills and Partridges

Patients, Pills and Partridges

OE Dr Jim Murray's book is published today, featuring a chapter on QEH
28 Aug 2020
OE News
Dr Jim Murray (1955-62), writing under the pen name Dr Tom Ferrier, has written a book detailing his life as a country doctor in the 1970s. It also features a chapter on QEH, with references to the school throughout. 

‘Patients, Pills and Partridges’ is published in paperback today, and is available to purchase from Amazon, WHSmith, and other good bookshops. 

“Born on the day after D-Day, 1944, into an ordinary family in a poorer part of Bristol, Dr. Ferrier recounts how it was possible to achieve a place at a London teaching hospital, seemingly against the odds, and how he became a family doctor. Patients, Pills and Partridges encapsulates what it was like to work as a doctor in those times. His stories reflect a different way of living with approaches to practicing medicine in the community that seem presently overlooked, if not lost. Patients saw their own doctors. Babies were born at home. Injuries were dealt with on the spot or in the surgery’s treatment room. Same-day appointments and home visits were the norms. After-hours care was managed by a rota system of partners and co-operation with neighbouring practices. Doctors lived, worked and played in the same location as their patients, sharing cafés, pubs and restaurants; churches, clubs and local societies. They knew their patients intimately and continuity of care was of paramount importance. Dr. Ferrier recalls days with his beloved, but battered red Triumph Spitfire sports car; dressed in a Norfolk jacket and deer-stalker hat; resplendent with a bushy moustache and mutton-chop sideburns, horn-rimmed glasses, stethoscope in a hip pocket, and a shiny briar pipe gently enfolded in the palm of an outstretched hand. Was this a golden age with lessons for the future or just a time to be savoured with nostalgia?”

Congratulations Jim, and we look forward to reading it. 

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