Keith’s Book Celebrated by Medical Journal

Last year saw the release of an autobiography from a man that many of us will have met, even if we don’t know it.

If in Doubt, An Anaesthetist’s Story, saw recently retired consultant anaesthetist Keith Wilkinson return to publishing for the first time since his earlier book, the enormously popular Manx Murders.

The book saw Keith look back on his career through medical school, his first time at Noble’s, returning to England and then his decades of service back on the island.

Reviewed by consultant anaesthetist James Watts in the Journal of Anaesthesia Practice, Watts says Keith’s book saw him reflect on his career and the development of anaesthetics.

He said: ‘Anaesthesia is one of the few specialties where one has to be a “Jack of all Trades” and willing to take on all-comers: and the Isle of Man is probably one of the few remaining places in the British Isles where this description is taken to extremes.

‘The nearest specialty centres are overseas, the work-force is limited; and once a year they hold one of the world’s most dangerous races there. This memoir follows his medical career from student to retirement, detailing why he made an active decision from an early age to take head-on the challenges that working in such an unusual environment could bring.’

Watts reflections also see him compare his own experiences to that of Keith, from ‘holding on a face mask and without the benefit of oximetry and capnography’ which led to the ‘anaesthetist handshake’ or the benefit of young doctors and nurses learning from doing and the constant fear of making a mistake.

Watts adds: ‘The book was a good read, and will be of interest not only to anaesthetists like myself who want to recall their glory days when “proper” anaesthetics were given, or those younger ones who want to know how things were done in the dark ages, but also to social historians and the wider public who want to understand what life on the front line was really like.’

You can buy Keith’s book on Amazon, or better yet, shop local and buy it from Bridge Bookshop in Ramsey and Port Erin. The proceeds from it are going to support the work of the NSPCC and the work of doctors like Keith who volunteered abroad to help children in poorer parts of the world.