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Life is What You Make it

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Iain Esslemont in his autobiography outlines his life. As a pack of cards is dealt, the outcome depends on how you play your hand. In the course of his seventy-five years, he encountered people of various races and cultures - although different in mode of living and beliefs, all are human beings. His career as a doctor was the common thread. He describes the ups and downs of the course of these years. Because of these ups and downs, he began to question the orthodoxy of what he had been taught. Because of the diversity of his encounters, and by observation, experience and reading, his outlook broadened and he developed his own ideas on life, which he would like to share with the reader.
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About the Author

Dr Esslemont began life in Aberdeen, Scotland. His great grandfather, originally of farming origins, began a wholesale and retail grocery business in the city. Educated in Aberdeen, a number of members of his family were in the medical profession, which, in turn, influenced the author into this career. After graduation, National Service was still in force and, in order to make the most of these years, he applied for an overseas posting and served the time in the Far East. To add interest to an otherwise mundane army career, an application was made to become the Regimental Medical Officer to a Gurkha Battalion, an offer which was accepted and he spent time with these interesting people. At this time, in Britain, there was a superfluity of doctors to fill general practice jobs, compounded by the fact that National Service was coming to an end with the result that the number of doctors applying for work doubled in one year. Dr. Esslemont decided that he would seek work overseas and Australia was his original choice. However, he was fascinated by Malaya, as its title was at that time, and, after eight month's obstetric training, he found a place to practice there. He spent the next seventeen years on the Malayan Peninsula, where he married and began a family. However, it was becoming more politically difficult to remain practising there so he and his family migrated to Australia where he spent the rest of his working life. When visiting Kuala Lumpur to receive Fellowship of the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia, an Indian friend suggested that he write his autobiography. Dr Esslemont had found his career interesting and thought that others would enjoy the stories so, after retiring three years later, with time on his hands, he put pen to paper, or rather fingers to computer, and started the writing of this book.


Aberdeen-born Iain Esslemont was raised in a medical family. That he would become a doctor was almost pre-ordained. Less likely was the way his travels not only shaped his life but changed his thinking, causing him to question the orthodoxy with which he'd been taught. With an understated wit, Esslemont takes the reader through his adventures with a Gurkha regiment in Malaya, through Hong Kong an the Kimberley to the south-eastern suburbs of Perth where he set up practice and, finally, to Margaret River where he has retired.

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