The Inner Physician

The Inner Physician
Author: Roger Neighbour OBE
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The final volume of Roger Neighbour’s ‘Inner’ trilogy, The Inner Physician.

Roger explores the relationship between a doctor’s professional and private selves. He suggests that the mind of every doctor retains an untrained ‘ordinary human being’ part – their Inner Physician – which makes an important, though often neglected, contribution to medical practice.

The Inner Physician, which he calls ‘the amateur within’ or ‘the expert minus the expertise’, plays a major role in diagnosis and treatment, and is the chief source of insight, empathy and clinical acumen.

Drawing on ideas ranging from Greek philosophy to catastrophe theory and quantum mechanics, but written in an engaging easy-to-read style, The Inner Physician makes a powerful case for humanity, thoughtfulness and self-awareness as hallmarks of the effective clinician.

It will be challenging but inspiring to GPs at every career stage, and also to specialists keen to understand how their own work fits into medicine’s ‘big picture’.

Iona Heath in her Foreword calls the book ‘the distillation of (Roger Neighbour’s) extraordinarily thoughtful career in general practice. In essence it is a gentle, careful explanation of the fundamental importance of the doctor’s subjective self’.

Coming at a time when doctors are under pressure to function more as biomedical technicians than as caring professionals, The Inner Physician aims to help GPs rediscover their pride in the human aspects of their work with patients.

Readers should be comforted and inspired to have confirmed what they always knew – that they themselves are an important factor in their clinical effectiveness.

Three reasons to buy this book:

1. It will help you see medicine’s ‘big picture’ – how it fits into the sweep of history, philosophy, and the latest developments in science.

2. It’s an antidote to burnout, cynicism, disaffection and feelings of professional inferiority.

3. It will remind you of why you became a doctor in the first place, and how celebrating your own uniqueness can help you be the best possible doctor you can be.

Read a sample chapter




ISBN Number: 9780850844115

Number of pages: 348

Publisher: RCGP

Published: February 2016

View table of contents

• Beginner’s mind
• A backwards glance
• Inchworms and also-rans
• The medical gaze
• The illness catastrophe
• The case for big picture medicine
• ‘What’s the matter?’
• As long as you think of it
• Crichton’s switch
• Through Johari’s window
• The Greeks had a word for it
• In praise of innersense

Author Bio

Roger Neighbour practised as a GP in Hertfordshire for 30 years and was for many years a trainer and course organiser.

• RCGP Chief Examiner, 1997 to 2002
• RCGP President, 2003 to 2006
• Awarded the RCGP George Abercrombie medal for medical writing, 2001
• Awarded OBE for services to medical education, 2011
• The Inner Consultation deemed ‘a medical classic’ by British Medical Journal, 2010

Of his three ‘Inner’ books, The Inner Consultation deals with the psychology of the doctor-patient relationship; The Inner Apprentice deals with the psychology of the trainer-trainee relationship; and The Inner Physician deals with the relationship between different parts of the individual doctor’s own mind.

Publisher reviews

'prompts new ways of thinking about and explaining common professional experiences that, to many doctors, will feel familiar but perhaps not well understood previously. It takes the reader on a wide-ranging and entertaining tour through many aspects of medical history, generalism, philosophy, psychology and decision making.

Innovative insights into how doctors think and act are revealed, including how various cognitive strategies can be applied as helpful tools in interactions between doctors and patients...the Inner Physician champions the essential humanity that resides at the core of medical practice....by writing this book, Roger Neighbour has successfully distilled a great deal of practical wisdom, acquired from a long and distinguished career of practising, teaching, and deep thinking about general practice - and, perhaps even more importantly, reminded us of the importance of being a curious, reflective and insightful human being' - Ben Riley (2016) Discovering your Inner Physician, Education for Primary Care

Readership

GPs at every career stage, including trainees. Physicians in other specialties; medical commentators and historians; medical politicians and policy makers; GPs and family doctors overseas

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