The Practice by Laura Marshall-Andrews
(HarperCollins, 2022)

The Practice

by Laura Marshall-Andrews

‘It is more important to understand what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease a person has.’ Hippocrates

All doctors have the unusual opportunity of peering deep into the inner lives of their patients. In these riveting stories, award-winning GP, Laura Marshall-Andrews, recounts some of those moments in all their bizarre, comic and sometimes heart-wrenching beauty. In doing so she fearlessly reveals the struggles of her profession and details how our health system has been broken by fragmentation, over-regulation and the blind dogma of ‘Evidence Based Medicine’. She shows how the factory-belt system has little space to allow or acknowledge the complexity of an individual’s life and she argues the need to value each patient’s unique story as being the key to their heath. These stories demonstrate how humanity, belief and love, unquantifiable and beyond the reach of mass trial and hard evidence, are much more powerful motivators for good care and it is these that should be at the heart of all health-care decisions.

At a time when the NHS has never been more needed or been more beloved – and people have never reacted more differently to the same disease - this no-holds-barred account, from a busy GP’s surgery at the frontline of the NHS, is also a call for change.