Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Phil Whitaker: A novel take on medicine

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 07 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6254


Phil Whitaker, 50, is a GP in Somerset and an award winning novelist. Those who have not read his novels, such as his debut, Eclipse of the Sun (“a little masterpiece,” said the Spectator), may have read his column in the New Statesman, where he paints a picture of the ins and outs of a GP’s life and argues the case for an NHS free of interfering politicians. Born in Kent, he trained at Nottingham and Oxford and then did an MA in creative writing at East Anglia. His fifth and most recent novel, Sister Sebastian’s Library, was published in September 2016.

What was your earliest ambition?

When I was a boy I wanted to be a police officer in America. I blame Starsky and Hutch. I’d also never heard of the green card.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I picked …

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