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The author would like to acknowledge the part played by the publication division of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners for encouraging the concept of Cautionary Tales and for their permission to reproduce much of the material that has appeared in Australian Family Physician. I acknowledge also the many practitioners who have supported the series through individual contributions or through popular support.

Individual contributions to this book have come from the following general practitioners to whom I am indebted:

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Peter Baquie:Doctor, watch your words, Tales of Campylobacter jejuni
Karen Barry:Beware the sweats by night
Frank M. Cave:A shock to the system; Diabetes with a difference
Jim Colquhoun:The concealment enigma: why is it so?; The widow’s rejection; Lame duck survival; The ticket of entry; Problems with pethidine; Missing links; Not an easy game; Alive, well and not to be forgotten; ‘Sacked’; A certain kind of madness; An unkindness of cancers
Brian Connor:Decisions, decisions in the elderly
Trish Dunning:Insulin stopwork
Chris Fogarty:Saga 1: Hot flushes (in ‘Alcoholics anonymous’)
Andrew Fraser:She was, of course, a doctor’s wife; Home visits: three cautionary tales; A doctor’s ‘heartburn’; Don’t work in the dark!
Peter Graham:No lead in his pencil
Wadie Haddad:Pyrexia in an Asian migrant; Chest pain of unusual cause
Wayne Herdy:An unusual presentation of a common disorder
Christopher Hill:Careful what you say!; Glimpses of a cruel world
Warwick Hooper:A Yankee bug in Oz
Don Lewis:Sidetracked
Robert Lopis:A personal encounter with a mystery illness
Lance Le Ray:Some ‘sort of vascular phenomenon’
Donna Mak:Marital surprises
Hugo Matthews:A super mimic
Breck McKay:Thoroughly analysing Milly; Fits and funny turns: the case of Terryanne
Paul Niselle:Putting the foot in it
Amanda Nutting:Paper-clip problems
Anthony Palmer:Summer and pseudomonas
Andrew Patrick:A real headache
Leon Piterman:Big-headed and pig-headed; IUDs and ectopic pregnancy
Geoff Quail:Oh for a suntan!
Philip Ridge:Beware children and needle-sticks
Ralph Sacks:A bronze medal
Lyn Scoles:Slowing up: it’s just old age . . or is it?
Leslie Segal:Keeping a stiff upper lip
Chris Silagy:The high-spirited schoolteacher
Roger Smith:Keeping an open mind
Gino Toncich:Case 1: The child who ‘died’ (in ‘Two “fishy” tales’)
Alan Tucker:The prescription pad
Bill Walker:Twin trouble
Alan Watson:Are you playing Russian roulette with your patients?

Special thanks to Nicki Cooper and Jenny Green for typing the text.


Many of the tales in this book have cryptic headings so that the diagnosis is not apparent. You are invited to analyse the case history and study the clinical fi ndings and the minimal information to make a provisional diagnosis prior to reading the part describing the diagnosis and outcome. All of these cases are authentic, but most of the names of patients and their spouses have been altered.

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