Your Life in My Hands

Your Life in My Hands

'I am a junior doctor. It is 4 a.m. I have run arrest calls, treated life-threatening bleeding, held the hand of a young woman dying of cancer, scuttled down miles of dim corridors wanting to sob with sheer exhaustion, forgotten to eat, forgotten to drink, drawn on every fibre of strength that I possess to keep my patients safe from harm.'

How does it feel to be spat out of medical school into a world of pain, loss and trauma that you feel wholly ill-equipped to handle? To be a medical novice who makes decisions which - if you get them wrong - might forever alter, or end, a person's life?

In 'Your Life in My Hands', television journalist turned junior doctor Rachel Clarke captures the extraordinary realities of life on the NHS frontline. During last year's historic junior doctor strikes, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. Her heartfelt, deeply personal account of life as a junior doctor in today's NHS is both a powerful polemic on the degradation of Britain's most vital public institution and a love letter of optimism and hope to that same health service.

"Eloquent and moving...There have been many books written by young doctors, but none comes close to Clarke's in describing the physical and emotional exhaustion, and the intense highs and lows, of working as a hospital doctor. Clarke's description of one of her consultants gently telling a young girl that no more treatment for her leukaemia is possible that it is time for her to die will reduce you to tears. Anybody who wants to understand what is happening to the NHS should read this book." - Henry Marsh, neurosurgeon and author of Do No Harm and Admissions

"From the very heart of the NHS comes this brilliant insight into the continuing crisis in the health service. Rachel Clarke writes as the accomplished journalist she once was and as the leading junior doctor she now is - writing with humanity and compassion that at times reduced me to tears." - Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

"Dr Clarke has written a blockbuster, a page-turner, a tear-jerker. This is a "from-the-heart" front-line account of the human cost of the wanton erosion of a magnificent ideal - healthcare free at the point of need, funded through public taxation, available to all - made real in the UK for near 70 years. It is a love-song for the wonderful National Health Service that has embodied - to an extent equalled nowhere in the world - the principle that healthcare is not a commodity but a great duty of state." - Prof. Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Title:Your Life in My Hands
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781786064516
Format Type:

    Your Life in My Hands Reviews

  • Petra-XoPlanet

    Politics: poly - many, ticks - nasty blood-sucking little insects. The title and blurb promise the story of a new doctor's experience of being responsible for emergency patients, making life and death...

  • Sara

    This struck a cord with me on a personal level as I'm currently an allied health professional working within the NHS on the 'frontline', and I've also recently been on the other side of care as an inp...

  • Laura

    A searingly honest account of life on the frontline of the NHS in modern times. Perhaps I'm biased because I am a nurse (although I did elect to leave the NHS earlier this year for reasons not dissimi...

  • Rebecca

    (2.5) I was expecting a fairly straightforward memoir of a doctor’s education and practice, à la Henry Marsh, but really this is more of a polemic against Jeremy Hunt’s policies for the NHS. The ...

  • Shirley Revill

    A very well written account of what it's like to be on the frontline in the NHS and it's quite a harrowing story.Thank goodness for the angels in the NHS who are doing there best to help save lives an...

  • Adam Yates

    Many excellent medical memoirs have made their way onto bookshelves of late (Do No Harm, Being Mortal) and this is an addition to that worthy list. This is frontline medicine rather than grumpy surgeo...

  • Beth Bonini

    "Cancer, heart attacks, car crashes, brain damage - we know the bolts from the blue are out there, we just never believe it is us they will strike. Perhaps it is only when you or your family are smitt...

  • Mared Owen

    Mixed feelings about this one. Think the problem was the writing style and the author, and not the actual message. Although I do recognise that its angry tone is completely justified, it would have be...

  • Wendy Greenberg

    Telling it as it is. A brave decision and presented with the clarity of a well researched journalist with the dedication & soul of a doctor living on top of this unexploded bomb. Rings so many bells f...

  • Alexandra

    “as a newly minted doctor, i knew twenty-eight causes of pancreatitis, the names of all two hundred and six bones in the human body, the neurophysiology of stress and fear, but not— not even remot...