I come from a family of general practitioners - my mother was a G.P. and my sister followed in her footsteps - and I am a fan of John McPhee's writing, in general. So I expected to like this book more than I actually did. The book follows the standard McPhee schema - in-depth reporting on a very specific topic, in this case doctors who choose to work as general practitioners. McPhee provides vignettes of a dozen or so such doctors, almost all of them working in Maine. McPhee is usually very effective in working from the specific to reach more general insights, and it is clear that he would like to do the same here. That is, by focusing on doctors who have opted out of the mainstream, he would like to illuminate some general truths about the practice of mainstream medicine. However, I think his success in doing so is limited, rarely rising above statement of the obvious. By focusing his microscope only on family practitioners working in Maine, the generalizability of any lessons they might offer is questionable. The needs of communities in Maine cannot be considered particularly representative of the U.S. in general. So the book never really becomes anything more than a series of isolated vignettes of some individual 'maverick' doctors.Which is interesting as far as it goes, but I wish McPhee had been able to do more with the material. By the end I felt that an opportunity had been missed.Chris Gager
This book was given to me as a gift by my niece and signed by the author. JM's daughter was/is a friend of my niece. I don't remember reading it or what happened to it as I don't have it any more. Maybe I read some of it. Date read is a guess.Mitchel
never read this interesting history of family medicine. read it!Owen Kendall
An incredible book about Family Practice Physicians and their role in American health care, as well as the need for more family practice doctors who can provide the much-needed service of primary care. This service would make emergency medicine much less costly and would decrease the cost of health care in this country exponentially as well as increase the health and well-being of American citizens. But it's not an easy job being a family practice physician.