About the book

The autobiography of a retired GP could be called Dr Ferguson's Casebook. Shirley Ferguson practised at what she calls `the Bay' near Wellington from the 1960s through to the 1990s, and treated a remarkable cross-section of ages and social backgrounds.

One story follows hard on another, some very funny, some heart-wrenchingly sad, and told with affection and the insights afforded her by people under stress. She found most of her patients grateful and surprisingly diffident. Patients in quite dire straits could still say to her, `Sorry to bother you, doctor' , not wanting to impose even though they were in urgent need of a doctor's attention. Without preaching she shows, in so many of her cases, how illnesses and attitudes leading to illness have their genesis in early childhood. Little has changed as surveys continue to indicate that low income, poor housing and poor diet increase the incidence of respiratory illness and anaemia, particularly in children and elderly.

About the author

Shirley Ferguson grew up in England and met and married her New Zealand husband, a Wellington urologist, before coming out to what she thought of as a very distant country.


An autobiography of a retired GP which reflects the medical and social network of this community.