Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Houseman’s Tale

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 10 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4593
  1. Stephen Bradley, final year medical student, Hull York Medical School
  1. stephen.bradley{at}

Currently out of print, The Houseman’s Tale, by the doctor and former BMJ columnist Colin Douglas, is a bawdy, but often affecting, hospital romp. Set in an Edinburgh hospital in the mid 1970s, the novel exploits every comic opportunity, including the misadventures of young doctors and nurses in their free time as much as mishaps on the ward. But perhaps the book is ill served by the cartoon on the cover of some editions; for all its outlandish situations, The Houseman’s Tale has the …

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