Where Does It Hurt?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 September, 2009, 12:00am

Where Does It Hurt?
by Max Pemberton Hodder & Stoughton, HK$185

If Dr Max Pemberton ever gave up medicine he could probably earn a living writing full-time. Already a medical columnist for Britain's Daily Telegraph, he has also written two books about his first years on the job: Where Does It Hurt? follows his debut Trust Me, I'm a Junior Doctor. Instead of gaining experience on hospital wards, Pemberton is now working for an outreach project and treating society's outcasts, including drug addicts and the homeless. Mental problems afflict many of his patients, such as the man who lives behind a supermarket, eats from its bins and believes he is God. Heroin and crack are the vices of some of his patients, which leads Pemberton to blame pop stars such as Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty for glamorising their habits. The reality, he says, is 'no paparazzi, no awards, no million-pound record deals. No Life.' He also has no time for drunks who go overboard and end up in hospital, arguing, 'Services already at breaking point are stretched even further.' Where Does It Hurt? isn't an obvious winner, although it points out that there is no single solution to the problems Pemberton describes, because there is no one cause.