Being Philosophical

I have enjoyed my first year as a registrar. I’ve enjoyed the greater responsibility, the chance to lead others, the chance to pursue more closely my chosen specialty as well as other interests within medicine such as teaching and writing. I don’t read as widely as I used to because some of these other “work interests” eat into my spare time.

Recently, I was given a book called “Philosophy for Life And Other Dangerous Situations” by Jules Evans, which has got me reflecting. The author had suffered from what might be termed “a nervous breakdown” or, more accurately, social anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. He discovered a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) self help group and realised that it had similarities to what he knew of ancient Greek Philosophy, particularly of Socrates. In his book, he looks at ancient philosophers and how ordinary people can use philosophy to improve their lives. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters so far but I can’t help thinking how much useful advice there is for doctors.

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