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The Inner Physician

In this final volume of his best-selling 'Inner' trilogy, Roger Neighbour explores the relationship between a doctor's professional and private selves. He suggests that the mind of every doctor retains an untrained 'ordinary human being' part - their Inner Physician - which makes an important, though often neglected, contribution to medical practice. This 'Inner Physician', which he also describes as the 'amateur within' or the 'expert minus the expertise', plays a major role in diagnosis and treatment, and is the chief source of insight, empathy and clinical acumen. Roger shows that skilled use of the Inner Physician is one thing that distinguishes the generalist from the specialist.
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Table of Contents

1. Beginner's mind. 2. A backwards glance. 3. Inchworms and also-rans. 4. The medical gaze. 5. The illness catastrophe. 6. The case for big picture medicine. 7. 'What's the matter?'. 8. As long as you think of it. 9. Crichton's switch. 10. Through Johari's window. 11. The Greeks had a word for it. 12. In praise of innersense.

About the Author

Roger Neighbour practised as a GP in Hertfordshire for 30 years and was for many years a trainer and course organiser. He was the RCGP's Chief Examiner from 1997 to 2002 and its President from 2003 to 2006. In 2011 he was made an OBE for services to medical education.


This last book in Roger Neighbour's 'Inner' trilogy is a real tour de force, a great conclusion to his lasting teaching gift to his profession, and I highly recommend it - Paul Main writing in Education for Primary Care, 2016, 27(3), 245-246. By writing this book, Roger Neighbour has successfully distilled a great deal of practical wisdom, acquired from a long and distinguished career of practising, teaching, and deep thinking about general practice - and, perhaps even more importantly, reminded us of the importance of being a curious, reflective and insightful human being - Ben Riley; This book is the distillation of (Roger Neighbour's) extraordinarily thoughtful career in general practice. In essence it is a gentle, careful explanation of the fundamental importance of the doctor's subjective self.' Iona Heath, foreword.

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