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John Launer: How to be a writer/doctor

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 15 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5135
Duncan Smith


John Launer is a writer who happens to be a doctor or, if you prefer, the other way around. Literature came first, as he read English at Cambridge, later qualifying as a doctor at the Middlesex Hospital in London. He worked as a GP in Edmonton and developed an interest in psychological therapies, training at the Tavistock Clinic in London, where he remains an honorary consultant. His essays on How Not to be a Doctor—witty and elegantly written accounts of his medical practice—were collected in a book of the same name, to be republished shortly. He has also published a widely praised biography of Sabina Spielrein, a lover of Carl Jung’s whose own ideas about evolution were long undervalued because …

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