Book Detail

Doctors Dissected

Doctors Dissected


This is a ‘story’ book about medicine, body, mind, doctors and caprices of human nature written by an experienced doctor (Martin Scurr), who has seen every untidy vagary of disease, and a psychotherapist (Jane Haynes), who has listened to personal narratives that rival the visceral emotions of King Lear. Doctors – who at their most profound are mercurial messengers between life and death, and who at a more comedic level must suffer our jiggling body parts – are also vulnerable men and women struggling to make sense of their existence. They are the only people other than our lovers to whom as adults we grant voluntary access to our naked bodies. The degree of such intimacy is emphasised by the concern of all medical ethics which promises that we will not be taken advantage of should we fall ill and become infantilised.  As the Hippocratic oath instructs, ‘First do no harm.’ In Doctors Dissected Haynes and Scurr steal behind cultural issues into the heartlands of doctors who are drawn to a life in medicine, and conduct an autopsy as to the consequences of choosing a profession in which the practitioner is constantly being faced with lonely decisions that very often are a matter of life and death.


Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 cm
Book Type


  1. Hilary Mantel

    ‘Doctors speak in their own words in this fascinating book, and the result is a provocative insight into bodies and souls’

  2. Dr Thomas Stuttaford

    ‘As the NHS totters along the public is increasingly interested in doctors’ training and philosophy … The authors combine their disciplines of medicine and psychotherapy to dissect medical lives and minds with the dedication of a pathologist performing an autopsy’

  3. Nigella Lawson

    ‘This is a book that tells the story of the much-changed role of the GP, and the dismay of the doctors themselves, who no longer are able to provide continuity of care and do what they believe necessary for the well-being of their patients. But it is more than that; it delves into the themes that touch us all intimately in life … and reveals the vulnerability of the doctors who have to deal daily with these dramas. More, it does so with such a narrative force and authenticity that it is impossible not to get drawn into these stories. This isn’t a book that simply informs, it is a book that compels and – as it mirrors our deepest fears – touches us at the core’

  4. Sunday Times

    ‘This is a deeply human, searching book, whose interviews roam far and wide in response to the life story of each doctor … excellent … Doctors Dissected provides valuable and startling insights into how doctors think’

  5. Telegraph

    ‘It is gritty and raw, and has no glossy coating or ER-style makeover glamorising either the status, or the intellect of medics … Doctors Dissected is much more than the average medical memoir. It is a profound and intimate examination of the life of a doctor’

  6. The Pulse

    ‘It gives the reader the impression of doctors being “examined” on the psychotherapist’s couch and provides an unusual and unexpected view from the other side. Riveting and thought-provoking’

  7. Observer

    ‘This wonderfully readable and unusual book is not conventional in its approach, which is partly what makes it sympathetic. It is personal, conversational, unpredictable … It is fitting that a book that deplores a loss of personal connection between doctors and patients should make time to explore intimacy between its covers. And although this book is not as crude as a rallying cry, it leaves one wanting to be part of a crusade to win doctors more time to be everything they want – and need – to be’

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