Book review: Doctor on the job by Richard Gordon

June 23, 2008

Title: Doctor on the job
Author: Richard Gordon
Pages: 198

The author

Richard Gordon is the pen-name used by Gordon Ostlere. Gordon is a British surgeon and anaesthetist. He is most famous for his Doctor series of novels which have been adapted for television and film.

Gordon wrote a number of medical books on anaesthetics as well.

The plot

Pip Chipps, a medical student at St. Swithin’s teaching hospital in London, has been suspended for failing his surgery exams. Pip promptly joins the hospital as a porter (people who move patients and equipment round the hospital). He is soon appointed steward of the hospital union.

St. Swithin’s maintains a seperate private wing for wealthy patients (mostly foreigners) who can afford to pay the high fees. Pip decides that this isn’t fair and calls for a strike. The union supports his strike and the porters refuse to provide services to patients in the private wing.

The verdict

Doctor on the job seems to be an attack on Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) which provides free healthcare for all residents of the United Kingdom. Gordon takes a poorly executed jab at computers as well (a computer diagnoses a perfectly healthy man as schizophrenic and, wait for it, pregnant).

I did not find this book particularly funny. Gordon doesn’t hold a candle masters of British humour like P. G. Wodehouse.

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One Response to “Book review: Doctor on the job by Richard Gordon”


  1. […] Doctor on the job by Richard Gordon […]

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