By Invitation

Doctoring in the digital age is not without challenges, not least in its impact on interaction with patients

Technology has transformed medical practice. But it is not without challenges, not least in its impact on interaction with patients

Dr John Sassall was an English country doctor in a rural community called the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. He was also the subject of a book called A Fortunate Man, first published in 1967. The writer John Berger and a photographer shadowed Dr Sassall for six weeks and chronicled his rounds of his patients, and the enormous lengths that he went to care for them.

The book was made into a play that went on tour in Britain and, recently, in Singapore where I saw it. There was a discussion at the end of the play with the cast of two and the director and producer; and a question that arose was whether the kind of intense and close-up doctoring that Dr Sassal practised as a GP in rural England then is possible in modern-day medical practice.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2019, with the headline 'Doctoring in the digital age'. Subscribe