What Is a Doctor? is vital contribution to the ongoing debate about how we maintain an NHS that is both fit for purpose and free. Using stories and case studies from across his thirty-year career as a GP, Phil Whitaker offers a portrait of the medical movements, political interference and societal changes that have transformed the role of doctor over the past three decades.

Much has altered for the better but, even when based on good intentions, an equal or greater amount has been damaging and threatens the sustainability of the NHS. In examining what it means to be a doctor today this book also answers an accompanying question ‘what is a patient?’ – and how we can all take a more active role in our healthcare. And looking forward Dr Whitaker describes what might yet be done to restore the NHS and its capacity for properly patient-centred care.

‘Using thought-provoking stories of real patients, this remarkable book shares profound insights into many of the problems facing modern medicine and offers a hopeful way forward – resuscitating the humanity that healthcare desperately needs. Simply brilliant.’ — Sir David Haslam

‘With meticulous analysis, deep vocational understanding and a palpable compassion for the human stories at the heart of all this, WHAT IS A DOCTOR? is an essential intervention in the urgent conversation about the future of healthcare in this country.’ — Polly Morland