Everyone gets to be a patient sooner or later. Almost everyone has experience of being misunderstood by doctors; encounters with difficult doctors; of relationships burdened with mutual bafflement, hostility and pain. Every doctor is haunted by memories of difficult relationships with patients, of the decisions made, and the outcomes that followed. People whom, despite all of their patience, persistence, the best communication, diagnostic and reasoning skills, they haven’t helped. People for whose unique suffering it seems medicine has nothing to offer. Dr Dorward explores the ethical dilemmas that GPs must face every day, to explain why it is that despite vast resources, time, skill, and dedication, medicine is so often destined to fail. His recollections include his worst failures and biggest challenges, ranging from the tragic, the everyday, the grotesque, the villainous, and the humorous.