The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams

This is a humane, funny, and satirical look at the world of the crumbling NHS.

Williams is the weekly cartoonist of Sick Notes in The Guardian, and has many devoted followers, many of whom, I am convinced are GPs.

The Bad DrThis is a humane, funny, and satirical look at the world of the crumbling NHS, the pressures of being a doctor and an obsession with bikes. All human ailments are exposed in a gently comic and truthful way, and the “Bad Doctor”, Iwan James, gathers our sympathy and affection as we read his story. Whether he’s behind his desk, on his bike, or at odds with his partners, this is a wry and witty take on the doctor/patient relationship.

Of course, Williams IS a doctor, so we know that he is writing and drawing from the heart. I really hope medical students in the future might have this book on their curriculum; it would certainly help them, and us, in the maze of medical advice offered by our physicians. Although. On second thoughts, it may put them off and goodness knows we need our doctors.

I especially love the relationship that James has with his partner, the dastardly Dr Robert Smith. We’ve all worked with people like him, and James’s muttered swearing and is something that we can all relate to. His view on depressives is wonderful as well, as is his treatment of a patient with OCD, and elderly man who thinks he sees a bloody butcher at night at the end of his bed, and his mother’s boyfriend who is a self-published poet. Hilarious. I wish he were my doctor.

Ian Williams will be appearing at The Bookish Supper Salon on December 2. Tickets from Tabl.com.