60 hours a week
10 minutes to make a diagnosis
Welcome to the surgery.
Charting his 15 years working as a GP, from rookie to becoming a partner in one of the UK’s busiest surgeries, Dr Amir Khan’s stories are as much about community and care as they are about blood tests and bodily fluids.
Along the way, he introduces us to the patients that have taught him about love, loss and family – from the regulars to the rarities – giving him the most unbelievable highs and crushing lows, and often in just 10 minutes. There is the unsuspecting pregnant woman about to give birth at the surgery; the man offering to drop his trousers and take a urine sample there and then; the family who needs support through bereavement, the vulnerable child who will need continuing care for a long-term health condition; and, of course, the onset of COVID-19 that tested the surgery at every twist and turn. But, it’s all in a day’s work for Amir.
The Doctor Will See You Now is a powerful story of hope, love and compassion, but it’s also a rare insider account of what really goes on behind those surgery doors.
I never really watched Behind Closed Doors, being a bit paranoid that the symptoms some patient’s were having might apply to me, but followed the good doctor on Twitter. I was attracted to his sense of humour, his love of nature, the outdoors and his kindness. Based on this I decided to buy his book The Doctor Will See You Now and I’m ever so glad I did! It’s an honest and often emotional story he tells, but it is also deeply funny, full of warmth and an forthright portrayal of life as a community GP.
He talks about the long hours, the pressures of balancing patient facing time, with the almost bone crushing weight of paperwork that makes up so much of a GP’s time. He balances stories of relationships developed over years with patients whose health problems bring with them fears of missing something, with the reward of knowing he has made a difference to their lives, with the frustration of having to deal with violent and threatening personalities whose sense of entitlement, brings danger to the practice.
It is his honesty and sense of inclusiveness that makes this book such a wonderful read, especially how he details how much pressure so many GP’s are under. It is a gentle reminder that doctors are human, with a right to a life away from all our cares and concerns and it has made me reflect on how we may all need to redefine our relationships with our community practices. I loved how this book acknowledges that their are frustration on both sides of the GP relationship and that things have to change and not all innovation is bad.
But at its very core this is a story about life within the NHS, it’s triumphs, it’s frustrations and the sadness, but always the utter joy of knowing that humanity is our greatest gift and Dr Khan has oodles of it. His writing is a joy to read and I hope he goes on to write more.
About the author
Dr Amir Khan is a full-time GP living in the UK. He is a GP Trainer, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at both Bradford and Leeds University, as well as being on the advisory board for the School of Pharmacy and Practice Managers Association.
He has appeared on shows such as GPs Behind Closed Doors, How to Lose a stone for Summer and Why Can’t I Sleep? Amir has also been a regular on Lorraine, and numerous other news outlets, providing advice and insight on the coronavirus.
Amir is an ambassador for the National Wildlife Trust, combining his credentials as a GP with encouraging schools and councils to reserve land to learn from.
His hobbies include keeping fit, running, conservation, gardening and keeping on the right side of his mother!