An Idealistic GP David Widgery


A look at the life of David John Turner Widgery, an East End GP who dealt with the housing estates of Tower Hamlets, in many cases the conditions he diagnosed were down to inaquate housing.

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Running time: 39 minutes
Watch online: ideo on demand
PDF:  Teaching Notes


David John Turner Widgery, writer, journalist, doctor and activist, born 27 April 1947, died London 26 October 1992.

FIREWORK displays have the power to illuminate, shock and delight. Our heads are constantly turning to catch the next flare-up. David Widgery was a walking November the Fifth. He could not and would not be tied down to a one-track life. For a generation of London’s East-Enders he was ‘Doc’, the GP at the end of hours in the waiting room or the GP who belted round the housing estates of Tower Hamlets. But he was also the spirit that raged at the evidence that the diseases he was diagnosing were really cankers growing out of lousy housing, hazardous work and lack of money. His brilliant and last book Some Lives] (1991) charts the excruciating cases and conditions on his rounds, but in typical outbursts of wit and learning interleaves these with a political walk-round the East End.

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