Most of the time I have no idea what to do with them or what to say in response to them.

Award-winning New Zealand poet Glenn Colquhoun is also a doctor who works with struggling young people at the margins, painfully aware of the limits of his role. In this BWB Text he offers penetrating insight into the little he feels he is able to achieve as a GP and youth worker. It is, he says, a song of redemption.

Doctors are pompous. It is one of our strengths. But when I listen to a patient for any length of time I am reduced. They seem much more expert in their lives than I – and any desire for me to be glib shrinks away.

Colquhoun’s account builds to radical proposals for New Zealand’s primary health care, designed to reconnect our health system with the more vulnerable and less resourced parts of our society.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Commissioned as short digital-first works, BWB Texts unlock diverse stories, insights and analysis from the best of our past, present and future New Zealand writing.

Available in paperback and ebook formats from booksellers and using the ‘Buy’ buttons on this page. For more information on these purchase options please visit our Sales FAQs page or contact us.

$16.99