This extraordinary memoir offers a glimpse into a life spent between the operating room and the bedside, the mortuary and the doctors' mess, telling powerful truths about today's NHS UK frontline.
'I am a junior doctor. It is 4 a.m. I have run arrest calls, treated life threatening bleeding, held the hand of a young woman dying of cancer, scuttled down miles of dim corridors wanting to sob with sheer exhaustion, forgotten to eat, forgotten to drink, drawn on every fibre of strength that I possess to keep my patients safe from harm.'
How does it feel to be spat out of medical school into a world of pain, loss and trauma that you feel wholly ill-equipped to handle? To be a medical novice who makes decisions which - if you get them wrong - might forever alter, or end, a person's life?
In Your Life in My Hands, television journalist turned junior doctor Rachel Clarke captures the extraordinary realities of life on the NHS frontline. During 2016's historic junior doctor strikes, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. Her heartfelt, deeply personal account of life as a junior doctor in today's NHS is both a powerful polemic on the degradation of Britain's most vital public institution and a love letter of optimism and hope to that same health service.
From the very heart of the NHS comes this brilliant insight into the continuing crisis in the health service. Rachel Clarke writes as the accomplished journalist she once was and as the leading junior doctor she now is - writing with humanity and compassion that at times reduced me to tears. -- Jon Snow
Dr Clarke has written a blockbuster, a page-turner, a tear-jerker. This is a "from-the-heart" front-line account of the human cost of the wanton erosion of a magnificent ideal - healthcare free at the point of need, funded through public taxation, available to all - made real in the UK for near 70 years. It is a love-song for the wonderful National Health Service that has embodied - to an extent equalled nowhere in the world - the principle that healthcare is not a commodity but a great duty of state. -- Prof. Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
A powerful account of life on the NHS frontline. If only Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt could see the passion behind the people in the NHS, they might stop treating them as the enemy, and understand that without them we don't have an NHS worth the name. -- Alastair Campbell
I absolutely loved it this book. Such an elegant, moving and honest account of life on the frontline. This is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the NHS. I am very often asked what it's like to be a junior doctor, and I can now direct people to this book. It's so refreshing to see someone tell it exactly as it is. -- Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble With Goats and Sheep
Eloquent and moving... Anybody who wants to understand what is happening to the NHS should read this book. -- Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm * The Times Magazine *