The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown

I love a autobiography and specifically a medical memoir (This Is Going To Hurt, The Nightshift Before Christmas, Unnatural Causes…), I find them so interesting and insightful. This one has been on my ‘to be read’ list for quite a long time and for some reason I never got round to picking it up, until this month it for a prompt in an Instagram readthon!

Dr Brown was a GP in a small village and really loved the practice she had set up. She had great relationships with all of her patients but she really struggled to transform her model of care into the ‘business’ approach GP practices were expected to adapt in the 00s and her partners found it difficult to work with her. Unwilling to conform and change the roots of her practice the her values lay in, Dr Brown chooses to instead leave the practice she set up all on her own with no plans what to do next.

Fate intervened and she was offered a job working as a Prison Doctor. She had never even considered this a possibility as a role before but with nothing to lose thought it was worth a shot. Luckily, Dr Brown discovered a new passion and even through the hard conditions and difficult individuals she found some real purpose to help shape the lives of these individuals who had been through difficult times.

Through the book Dr Brown works at three different prisons, they all have different systems and types of prisoner which is super insightful but she manages to find the bond of humanity through them all. She humanises herself as a doctor; usually on the pedestal of society, and the prisoners she works with; considered the complete opposite.

I work in a mental health trust that provides cares for forensic patients so there were a lot of elements of the book that I could relate to; in both the children and adult services. But even for somebody who has no insight or experience with individuals from this background I’d hope they find it really interesting!

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