Radio 2 Book Club: The Appointment

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The Appointment by Graham Easton will feature on the Radio 2 Fact not Fiction Book Club on Thursday 1 September.

The book was selected with the help of a panel made up of Reading Agency and library staff from across the UK. Find out more about the non-fiction strand of the Radio 2 Book Club.

You can win 10 copies of The Appointment for your reading group, which would make a really interesting group read. To apply, just visit our Noticeboard.

We have an exclusive extract available for you to read as well as some discussion questions for your reading group.

The Appointment

Despite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery – a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more patients can feel swamped and confused. The Appointment offers an intimate and honest account of how a typical GP tries to make sense of a patient’s health problems and manage them within the constraints of their health system and the short ten minute appointment.

Experienced GP Dr Graham Easton shows how GPs really think, lays bare their professional strengths and weaknesses, and exposes what really influences their decisions about their patients’ health.

Selection panel review

Our reading panel from libraries and The Reading Agency loved The Appointment – here are some of their comments:

“Here is the world of the GP divided into its 10min appointments. We get insight into the patients and their symptoms. We get a sense of how a GP sifts through the clues and arrives at a diagnosis. It feels very human and not mechanistic – it’s the sort of doctor-patient experience we would all like. It doesn’t sugar the pill. There are people here with serious conditions but nor are they reduced to just their conditions. It’s a pretty universal experience, the doctor’s appointment; this is well written and should have a wide appeal.”

“I found this book easy and engaging and also thought provoking. Next time I am waiting for an appointment and the doctor is running late I will be more tolerant. I thought the style where you have the medical history alongside the patients thoughts worked well and the detective work doctors have to do interesting.”

“I found The Appointment really interesting to read and would recommend it. The author, a GP himself, takes you into the mind of a doctor in each chapter as he diagnoses a patient step by step. With the NHS under scrutiny and GPs under more pressure than ever to deliver services it’s a really eye-opening and accessible read that I think will broaden perspectives and genuinely interest readers. It isn’t something I would ever have picked up but glad I had the opportunity to read it.”

About the author

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Dr Graham Easton is a practising GP, Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow at Imperial College Medical School where he trains medical students and junior doctors in general practice. He has twenty years’ experience as a successful communicator of medical ideas to the non-medical public. He was senior producer and presenter in the BBC Science Unit, launching and presenting Radio 4’s Case Notes and a range of other programmes. He is a regular guest and occasional presenter on Health Check.

He was an editor at the British Medical Journal for four years and is on the editorial boards of the British Journal of General Practice and Education for Primary Care. He has had his own regular columns on the BBC Health website and for Eve Magazine and has published articles in the Radio Times, Tesco Healthy Living and Empire magazine. He is co-author of How to Pass the CSA Exam and General Practice at a Glance (first prize winner in the Primary Care category at the BMA Book Awards 2013).

A word from Graham

“It was so exciting to get the email saying that The Appointment had been chosen for the Radio 2 Book Club. It’s my first book, and after nearly two years creating and living in this fictional morning surgery, I was holding my breath to see what the real world made of it. When the first signal back was a thumbs up from such passionate and expert book-lovers I was thrilled and honoured – thank you.

Books and libraries have always been central in my life: from Saturday morning trips to the local library with Dad, to picking a shiny new hardback from the giant warehouse of the family publishing firm, and more recently choosing and reading books with my own children. If The Appointment gives readers a fraction of the insights and adventures that other books have given me, I’ll be delighted.”

Get involved

Tune in to the Radio 2 Arts Show on Thursday 1 September to hear an interview with Graham talking about his book.

Do you want to read The Appointment? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter, or follow author Graham Easton. You can also see what other readers thought, or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.


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