'An outstanding achievement... The most gratifying aspect of the book is how successfully Easton humanises the medical practitioner... [an] honest and uplifting account. It's an impressive achievement... a pleasure to read' – British Medical Association Book Awards 2017 (Highly Commended)

'Illuminating' – Illuminating book — Nick Duerden, Independent

322 pages/ 2016 – UK & Commonwealth (Robinson), Japan (Kawadeshobo)

322 pages/ 2016 – UK & Commonwealth (Robinson), Japan (Kawadeshobo)

The Appointment

What Your Doctor Really Thinks During Your Ten-Minute Consultation
Graham Easton

There’s little that’s more important than our health – yet very few people have any idea how their doctor makes sense of their health problems.

In The Appointment, Graham Easton offer the first authentic insight into what goes on in your doctor’s mind during your precious 10-minute consultation. Taking readers on a journey through an entire morning surgery of 15 typical appointments, he reveals the secrets of diagnosis and modern medical management, and the startling complexity of what often seems like a straightforward visit to the doctor. As well as introducing the wide range of problems that doctors invariably tackle between breakfast and lunch, he shows what it feels like to be up against the clock as well as the limits of medical science and the constraints of an overstretched health service. At the heart of his medical detective work are the challenges of ‘connecting’ with patients and getting essential information from them, and the anxiety of managing the mundane while remaining alert to the life-threatening.

It’s like a live performance in which a doctor’s thinking is deconstructed in unique detail using true-to-life cases that most people will recognize, from sore throats, coughs and high blood pressure to chest pain, cancer and depression. The author reveals the strategies doctors use to arrive at a diagnosis, and how they are trained to involve the patient in coming up with a plan of action. Each case focuses on a specific issue, explaining, for example, how doctors use chaperones for intimate examinations, how they deal with risk, how they decide on the best investigations and treatments, and how they hunt for ‘red flags’ – signs or symptoms that should ring alarm bells for any doctor, anywhere in the world.