Dr X has worked in Ireland's health service over the past six years. Like hundreds of other junior doctors, he has witnessed first-hand the problems facing the system, such as:
· the effects of a culture of fear, bullying and rank-closing in the upper echelons of the profession · the side-lining of professionals who speak up
· the unhygienic habits of health professionals as the MRSA virus runs rampant throughout Irish hospitals
· the debilitating exhaustion from shifts up to fifty-six hours long, and the life-threatening consequences to patients Like hundreds of his colleagues, he has felt powerless to speak out, knowing there is no heroism in being a whistleblower.
In The Bitter Pill, Dr X finds himself unable to remain a silent witness. Here he describes the problems from within, using personal experience, along with that of his colleagues, to highlight the day-to-day realities crippling the system. The anonymous author makes a passionate case for change, offering simple solutions that could affect change now - if the will were there. A cautionary picture emerges of a culture often more intent on vested interest than patients' needs.
The Bitter Pill is an honest, controversial and at times shocking account by a doctor who has not lost the ideals embodied within the Hippocratic oath - to work only 'for the good of my patients' - and who is willing to risk it all for the truth be heard.
Doctor X works within the Irish Health System.