Reviewed by Amanda Bonsell
Ronald White-Cooper may have worked as a doctor in London's slums and tended to badly wounded men on the Western Front, but when he arrived in Dartmouth in 1920 to set up as a GP he found himself facing some unique challenges. From the normally reliable midwife convinced she was being haunted to the retired colonel suffering mysterious fits, from the farmer who insisted rubbing in Bovril had cured his bad back to the young girl dying of tuberculosis, all his medical skills were put to the test.
Ronald initially he did his rounds on horseback but gradually the world changed, bringing not just cars but innovations like antibiotics which were to change medicine for ever. Over the years Ronald became a much-loved part of the community, often helping those who could not afford to pay him, and is remembered fondly to this day. Full of wonderful characters, written with warmth and humour, Call the Doctor brilliantly evokes a bygone age.
Any fan of Call the Midwife will like this book. Call the Doctor is the memoirs of Ronald Cooper-White, a GP who practised from 1910 to 1965 throughout both world wars during which he saw dramatic changes in medicine. He was a surgeon when he worked in the East End of London before he moved to Dartmouth in 1920. He had very unexpected challenges for a young doctor, whether it was treating a grumpy farmer, to a dentist to a midwife convinced she was being haunted. Ronald helps his patients the best he could, from diseases such as TB, attempted suicides to premature births. In a world without antibiotics, there was no cure for many diseases so life was unpredictable.
The story begins in his school days with his student life. OMG in one bit they need someone to try Nicotine poisoning on, he did not smoke so they gave him the rankest cigar to take to see what would happen if he did get nicotine poisoning and how they could treat it, thank good they do not do this nowadays.
I really enjoyed this book which was full of humour. The book was very well written and the characters are so likeable. I'm glad his granddaughter Deborah White-Cooper found Ronald's memoirs in a old trunk in a attic. A very good book which I enjoyed reading.
I'd like to thank Cecilia at Midas PR for sending a copy of this book to Amanda to review for my blog.