Tools of the Trade is a pocket-sized anthology of around 50 poems, to help think about compassion and about personal resilience in the challenging situations faced by all junior doctors.
It is edited by doctors, includes poems by doctor-poets, and the first edition was made possible entirely by private donations, many from GPs or their families, and the support of permission holders for the poems included; the second and third editions are also supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland, and The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland.
It’s been given free to all medical students graduating in Scotland since 2014; you can read more about the project here.
We are delighted that the second edition completely sold out, thanks to an article by Simon Constable in the Wall Street Journal. The third edition is available to purchase from our shop, online and in person.
Poems for Doctors with the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews
A wonderful project, based at the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, offers moving and hugely accessible filmed readings of poems from Tools of the Trade.
The readers come from staff and students at the school, and all have a particular reason for picking their poem. The films are available for all to watch online; if you’re a medic, you can also join a Facebook group to discuss the experiences described in the poems.
We are very thankful to the Dean, staff and students of the School of Medicine, particularly Deputy Head Julie Struthers and Information Designer and magician Steve Smart, for giving Tools of the Trade a new digital life in addition to the printed book.