The Bad Doctor: The Troubled Life and Times of Dr. Iwan James

Ian Williams. Penn State, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-271-06754-4
These warm yet disturbing episodes in the life of a Welsh family doctor show that he’s not a bad doctor, just one burdened by an overactive sense of responsibility. When he was younger, his OCD kept him in agony that he might be guilty if anything awful happened to his parents, friends, pets, etc.; now, as a married middle-aged physician, he wonders if he is giving his patients the correct treatment and the human concern they need. Meanwhile he’s wistfully longing for the pretty young doctor in the office to notice him, and worrying about paying for another bike for the rides that give him a brief escape from his feelings of inadequacy. None of this sounds especially funny, but the overall effect is gently amusing. Williams, a doctor himself, has previously edited anthologies fusing comics and medicine, and here his sharply observed, sympathetic scenes, done in an appropriately sketched style, add up to a richly humane picture of a good man who can’t appreciate how good he is. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/27/2015
Release date: 03/01/2015
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-1-908434-28-9
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