KILL AS FEW PATIENTS AS POSSIBLE AND FIFTY-SIX OTHER ESSAYS ON HOW TO BE THE WORLD'S BEST DOCTOR

BY OSCAR LONDON M.D., W.B.D., TEN SPEED PRESS, BERKELEY; 1987.

     This is a very funny book, written by the Dave Barry of the stethoscope set, the Calvin Trillin of the sphygmomanometer. Dr.
London has a wonderful sense of irony and the absurd...I think. The problem is, I can't tell when he's kidding and when he isn't. He injects cortisone into the joints of his patients, and prescribes antidepressants at the drop of a tear, treatments that are usually carried out by specialists; yet, he refuses to give injections of penicillin, for fear he'll kill a patient through an allergic reaction. He fires receptionists on a monthly basis, prides himself on keeping bankers' hours, and tries to balance his overweening pride and nagging guilt by popping Valium. Oscar London is a pseudonym, and I donít blame the W.B.D. (World's Best Doctor) for using one. He's very witty, with much insight and compassion for the human condition; he could be the medical advisor for St. Elsewhere. In an essay entitled, "Don't Call Me Doc," he writes:

At the risk of sounding stuffy, I must confess to being less than overjoyed when a patient calls me "Doc."  I realize that " Doc"  is often used as a  term of endearment.  But to me, "Doc" is what you call an excellent poker player who never went to medical school and what you call the town drunk who did. " Doc"  is what Bugs Bunny calls Elmer Fudd.


But if he believes and does some of the things that he professes, he is also a bit dangerous.

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