Gwynnedd Somerville and Charlotte Paul
What are you here for, if not to treat difficult patients?”
“How to take a history from and examine a sick person would seem an unusual starting point to create a philosophy of life … but that did not deter Keith”, writes psychiatrist Sandy Macleod in The Next Patient in the Waiting Room, a book of essays about his father, which we have edited. Keith Macleod joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago in 1951 and became a neurologist at Dunedin Hospital. Following his interest in the borderland between neurological and psychiatric disorders, he later became a neuro-psychiatric consultant at Ashburn Hall, retiring in 1983. He was also a philosopher, poet and great talker. The essays in the book explore Keith’s philosophy of life from the point of view of colleagues, family, patients, students, and friends. Here we take the title of the volume to touch on some of his maddeningly difficult ideas.