Publication Date: 12/05/2022 ISBN: 9781783785841 Category:

The Imaginary Patient

Jules Montague

Publisher: Granta Books
Publication Date: 12/05/2022 ISBN: 9781783785841 Category:




As featured on BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s Hour, Start the Week), Times Radio, in the Telegraph (also as a bestseller), The Times, and at the Royal Institution.

A diagnosis is supposed to give us certainty, our first step on the road to recovery.

But what if your diagnosis is inflected by a doctor’s bias, swayed by Big Pharma, or designed to protect the police? What happens when you are — or your child is — refused a diagnosis for a condition the establishment will not recognise?

As a consultant neurologist, Dr Jules Montague saw the relief a diagnosis could bring, but she also came to see its limitations. In this eye-opening and humane account, Montague meets with the patients and families who have had their lives turned upside down by a diagnosis they never deserved.

She speaks to parents fighting for recognition of their children’s symptoms; men and women whose bodies have been stigmatised by society; and to the families of young black men who are being diagnosed posthumously with a condition that could exonerate their killers.

Through these stories of heartbreak and resilience, Montague shines a light on the troubled state of diagnosis, and asks how we might begin to heal.

Publisher Review

The Imaginary Patient is a great stride forward in the way medical stories are told. Nobody who reads it will experience a doctor's appointment the same way again. Montague's writing is empathetic, surprising and forensic all at once. An extremely valuable book * Caroline Crampton, author of The Way to the Sea *

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