Another award for doctor author

21 July 2008

UCT alumnus and author Professor Cecil Helman (MBChB, 1967) will receive the George Abercrobie Award from the Royal College of General Practitioners at their annual general meeting in November.

The award is given for outstanding contributions to the literature of general practice.

Helman's memoir, Suburban Shaman: Tales from medicine's frontline, won the Royal College of General Practitioners' 2007 Medical Journalists Association Book Award.

In March 2006 Suburban Shaman was the BBC Book of the Week, and it was later serialised on Radio 4.

The work draws on Helman's rich medical and anthropological experience, reflecting on health and illness within the bounds of community, tradition and history.

It was previously published in South Africa in 2004 as Suburban Shaman: A journey through medicine.

Helman qualified with an MBChB at UCT in 1967, and studied social anthropology at University College London. It was only after a trip to the US that he found he could combine his twin interests through medical anthropology, a "new and marginal discipline" back in the 1970s.

Suburban Shaman is filled with stories of how the lives of doctors and patients are interwoven, a picture of medicine that goes well beyond science.

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