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Distributed for Unicorn Publishing Group

Time to Heal

Tales of a Country Doctor

A colorful, thought-provoking memoir of the life of a country doctor. 

By turns shocking, sad, and funny, the stories and anecdotes that illuminate Michael Dixon’s autobiography describe a doctor who feels poorly served by the conventional medicine of his time and is eager to find new ways to relieve the suffering of his patients. Over his thirty-five years as a country general practitioner in Cullompton, Devon, the stories his patients shared inspired an interest in complementary medicine and social prescribing, taking him from a conventional family doctor to a leader in the clinical commissioning movement. As Dixon charts his personal journey over a long and rewarding career, what emerges is a moving portrait of the community he serves. 

Dixon’s stories show how twenty-first-century general practice and its patients have been betrayed by top-heavy regulation, performance management, and a blame culture. Young doctors no longer want to enter general practice. The author explores why and how pandemics might provide the answers.

176 pages | 12 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Biography and Letters


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"Dixon's passion for the role of a family doctor in 'healing' the pain and suffering of others shines through via colorful, moving tales of caring for patients and families within the context of the local community. He brings out the magic of general practice, underpinned by the trusted bond between doctor and patient, but also shows how this has been eroded over successive political and organizational changes within the NHS. This honest and heartfelt account ends with an impassioned plea to resurrect the quintessential values of the GP within a modern context and in turn 'restoring humanity to medicine.'"

Chaand Nagpaul CBE, chair, Council of the British Medical Association

"A wonderful book, full of fascinating, engaging, and timely stories. Dixon reminds us of the importance of human medicine and the way in which communities can create health. He concludes with a new vision for health which blends the best of the past with the latest technology and science—and which will help us cope better with future pandemics."

Lord Nigel Crisp, former chief executive and permanent secretary at the UK Department of Health

"A fascinating look into life as a village doctor, with observations so profound it seamlessly becomes a thesis on humanity as a species. The local GP, not only a potential lifesaver but also a constant and friend in these ever-changing, isolated times, has never been more needed. A beautiful and moving book."

Lady Sophie Windsor (née Winkelman), actress

"Time to Heal describes very human stories—entertaining, thought provoking, and eminently readable, whilst woven through the text is the insight that general practice is the human face of medicine."

Sir Denis Pereira Gray, former chair and president, Royal College of General Practitioners

"Captures the art of the possible by demonstrating that when the focus of our doctors is working with communities to define health priorities and solutions to health problems, we tap into local skills and expertise that surpass the realms of medicine and science and define care that is right for the people."

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive, Royal College of Nursing

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