Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Irish Country Doctor

By Patrick Taylor

Barry Laverty is fresh out of medical school and on his way to take up a position in a Irish town with an established doctor, Fingal O'Reilly. Ballybucklebo is a small rural town and Dr. O'Reilly is the only local doctor and it may be the perfect place for young Dr. Laverty to figure out if he wants to go into general practice or specialize.
Barry's first introduction to Fingal is when Fingal is tossing a patient out the door and into the bushes. Fingal is a big imposing man and apparently a little short tempered. Barry isn't quite sure he really wants to share an office with this man.
But he decides to give it  a few days and before he knows it, he is involved in the trials and joys of the small community, including getting to know a smart, local woman. As he copes with the demands of his new job and of learning to perform to O'Reilly's expectations and getting to know the locals, he begins to really appreciate Ballybucklebo, O'Reilly and all the interesting characters and patients.

This was an OK story. I have to admit that I stopped reading it for several months as I didn't really find it that interesting or engaging. The story ends with a big party, which was one of the best parts of the book. But, towards the end, O'Reilly and Laverty use information about a patient to blackmail another patient. According to the author, the ends justify the means, but to me it was a shocking and disturbing display of a lack of medical ethics.

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