The Citadel tells the story of an idealistic young Scottish doctor (modeled after the author) who finds himself up against a largely ineffective, corruption-ridden health-care system. Published in 1937, the novel was a worldwide success thought to have directly influenced the creation of the UK’s National Health Service in 1948.
The clear themes of the book are that doctors should practice scientific, evidence-based medicine, that they should maintain and update their skills and knowledge, that they should work in partnership with each other, that the divide between GPs and hospital doctors should be broken, and that the profit motive should be taken out of medicine, wrote Dr. Seamus O’Mahony in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
One finishes a Cronin book with a faintly warm, sentimental glow, feeling a slightly better person…The Citadel is still worth reading today.
Contributor: Monica Starkman from University of Michigan Medical School