Dr John Duncan, a retired consultant anesthesiologist and general practitioner from Edinburgh, published his first book at the age of 88, with a lifetime’s work with the NHS distilled into his first publication, which the left “absolutely delighted”.
The Best of Health – Tales out of Medical School – tells of his training at the former Royal Edinburgh Infirmary in the 1950s and 1960s, which he describes as the âgolden ageâ of health services.
Dr Duncan, who only started writing five years ago, is also having a great time and reminds us that life is a gift that can continue to give, no matter what it feels like right now. .
Coming from a family of industrial potters in Stoke, he applied to Edinburgh Medical School to take on a challenge from his then-girlfriend’s father. It was a challenge accepted and met.
It tells of difficult times like administering general anesthesia without any training and the open and inspiring speech of Professor Sir Derrick Dunlop, a dean of the medical profession and then a household name.
Sir Derrick’s words continued to resonate as he emphasized the privilege of working in the NHS, where patients could be prescribed what they needed, not what they could afford.
Later in life, writing became Dr. Duncan’s best prescription – and his story is a bit tonic for all of us.