Dr. Finlay’s Casebook – Updated

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The scene is set in the small highland town of Tannochbrae in May 1926. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36n0AY2Hjqk

Young idealistic Dr. Finlay has just finished morning surgery. He wanders into the dining room of Arden House and pours himself a large dram of whiskey. “I need this” after the morning I have had” he sighs to himself. It seemed that all the chronic depressives in the town had made appointments to see the “nice young doctor” having previously got short shrift from the curmudgeonly Dr. Cameron who basically told them all to go away and not to waste his time on the grounds that he did not have a pill to cure unhappiness. “A good chase by a mad dog is what you need” he would growl at them.

However Dr. Finlay’s training had included a short course on psychoanalysis, based on the exciting new theories of Dr. Sigmund Freud, a Viennese specialist. Although Finlay had slept through most of his medical school lectures he found the idea of delving into the subconscious of his patients rather exciting.

However in practice it did not seem so easy and discussing with Jock McFlood, a local crofter, whether he remembered being breast fed had resulted in bewilderment rather than enlightenment.

The door swings open and Dr. Cameron stomps in with a look of thunder on his face; he is clutching an official-looking letter. “I’ve just received this from the Board of the Tannochbrae cottage hospital. They’ve black-listed me! I have lost my admitting rights. I cannot look after any of my patients in the hospital.”  In response to the obvious question from Finlay he states that no reason has been given - apparently the Board does not need to give a reason in such matters, and that their decision is final.

 “Write to Dr. Snoddie, he is chairman of the Board” says Finlay. “The letter is from Snoddie” complains Cameron, “He is getting back at me for the little disagreement we had last week”.

“Little disagreement” says Janet the housekeeper as she bustles in with a steaming tray of food, “it was a flaming row and was heard all over the hospital. Unfortunately Mistress Niven, , was also there so by tea time the story was all round the town”.

“They can’t do this to me” shouts Cameron; but it seems that they can.

“You had better get in touch with the Union and see if they can give you any advice” states Finlay”.

“Union! I am not a coal miner; do you want me to go on strike? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1926_United_Kingdom_general_strike

“Well”, replies Finlay, “if you are not in a union and the brown stuff hits the fan you are on your own. It is too late to buy insurance after you have crashed the car”.

“You are probably right” mutters Cameron, “this is all so depressing”.

 Tom Goodfellow (with apologies to the late A.J.Cronin)


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