Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Sickness and Health

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 16 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7346
  1. Alan Emery, emeritus professor of human genetics, University of Edinburgh
  1. alan.emery{at}

By the time Sickness and Health was written Colin Douglas had already published eight other novels, mainly concerned with medical life in and around Edinburgh. Colin Douglas, a pseudonym of Colin Currie, was born in 1945, raised in Glasgow, and graduated in medicine in Edinburgh in 1970 and went on to become a consultant in geriatrics. His fame (some might say notoriety) was established with his hilarious first novel, The Houseman’s Tale, published in 1975, which became a highly acclaimed and popular BBC television serial (BMJ 2011;343:d4593, doi:10.1136/bmj.d4593).

Sickness and Health is concerned with several medical families in Edinburgh. It starts in June 1979 with the …

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