Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky


900 years behind the rest of the world here, and due to frugal amounts of telly watching, (aside from the unmissable or I shall surely expire… 3 versions of the weather forecast) I saw one episode of House yesterday. Instant relief Mr Laurie playing an obnoxious crankpot, mais oui, how fine, but House nowt to do mit habitation, mais non, it’s another Hopital a la tele fiasco.

Thanks to the domination of sincerely mad and nothing to be learnt from them medical dramas on the tube I have lost all interest in medical matters and acquired a medical pain in my hole at the sight of white coats or get a trolley in here on-screen.

It beggars the question:
have screenwriters/television producers had an naturally high number of encounter with obnoxious doctors or are there genuinely a very high number of obnoxious doctors populating the planet? You can find out for yourself at

The point being I’d like to offer some alternative and varied occupations for successful onscreen portrayal and all of whom have the onscreen potential to be both interesting and obnoxious. (disclaimer: meant in the fictional sense only)

– bus drivers

– dental hygienists

– Greenhouse owners (specifically pushing the limits on tomatoes)

– librarians

– dinosaur egg experts

– elevator companies

 The medical confusion that evolves from these hospital dramas is intense: what! you can’t have an MRI if you’ve plates in your face? Pity they don’t tell those of us with plates that. We have to learn it from sodding House, if indeed it’s even true. And doctors complain about hyper educated patients graduated from the medical school of Google!

When I think back down the years to working in a nameless London hospital I have the most hilarious memory of being informed by one of those NHS manager types that one snotty doctor, who I’d been greeting in what was considered in those staid old days as too cheerful a manner (you know what doctors are like he’d ho-hummed embarrassed to us …)  had requested that we not speak to him.

Imagine here we are checking his patients in at the waiting area and we must not speak to him. What exactly were we supposed to do if one of them fell in a heap? The ironic thing was they were all suffering from serious illnesses and our chirpy greetings were no doubt keeping them afloat as they collected the grim news of what I think were called T Cell counts and CT scans.

Once one of the patients gave me thirty oranges (did he think I had scurvy?) another handed me a very sober looking grey wool suit (point taken, I was in a punk rock phase) another fifty quid, gloria in excelsis etc.

No doubt this is the kind of pompous nonsense (the don’t speak to me rule, not the presents) that spurned such TV shows and ruined the lives of medical students, who had to put up with his morse code style of communication.  In that context ratemydoc frankly doesn’t seem such an outlandish concept.

2 Responses to “House-ache”

  • Sara says:

    As far as those medical shows go, I’d have to say that I’d rather watch the lunatic antics on Green Wing.
    I hope you told that patient that Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

  • Lori W. says:

    Hilarious post! Did the doc that wouldn’t allow you to speak to him at least permit American Sign Language?

    Specialists, I think are the worst fruit–and I think our Cdn med. system has become absurdly specialized to the point that it takes years for a person finally being sent to the right specialist to get a correct diagnosis. That’s where House fails. Instead of a bunch of generalists on an emerg. team there is usually one specialist for each disease of the eyeball and hair follicle and they are often rude and arrogant gits.

    I agree though–House should be the final medical drama period. Move on to something else. Those emerge shows are becoming cyclical and repetitive and obcsure to the point of nonsense.

    I heart Hugh Laurie.

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