Where There Is No Doctor – FREE DOWNLOAD

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Just discovered that this great book is now available as a PDF for FREE (other versions available for purchase). Medical info that goes beyond simple first aid!

Where There Is No Doctor is a great resource for anyone on a boat — not just for those doing extended cruising, but anywhere that medical help just isn’t 10 minutes away.

I first got a copy of it in the mid-1990’s, before a camping trip to Africa.  And it went along on several other trips and was one of the first things I packed to move aboard Que Tal.

It was updated — and considerably expanded, now with over 500 pages — in 2010, and is now available as a free PDF download, along with several other similar titles such as Where There Is No Dentist (I haven’t used it).

Special thanks to TBG reader Laurie Jones (read her blog here) for letting me know about this.  I had purchased a hard copy way back when and had no clue it was available in electronic format for free!

This isn’t a first aid book like you might be used to, and you’ll probably want a couple of other references as well.  The best description of the book comes straight from the introduction:

This handbook has been written primarily for those who live far from medical centers, in places where there is no doctor. . . . guidelines are included not only for what to do, but for when to seek help. . . . But because doctors or health workers are not always nearby, the book also suggests what to do in the meantime — even for very serious problems.  (Emphasis in original)

It’s that “what to do in the meantime” that makes it such an invaluable resource. Even if you’re just out for a daysail or a weekend, you may be an hour or more from help — and you may not even be able to call for advice via cell phone or radio.  Having a copy of this on your laptop, tablet or smartphone means that you always have the information you need.

Additionally, Where There Is No Doctor deals with many medical problems that aren’t covered in standard first aid books — or at least those sold in the US.  For cruisers heading to the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico, the information on things like cholera, dengue and malaria is invaluable — although I was always relieved when I checked symptoms and could say that I didn’t seem to have one of those!

And unlike so many other books, it actually tells you when you need prescription medicines and the proper doses.  No, not as a substitute for seeing a doctor but for those times when it could be a day or more to even reach a doctor.  We used this information several times.

You can get your FREE copy of Where There Is No Doctor by downloading each chapter individually. If you want it all in one PDF, you’ll see a link at the bottom of the page to purchase it for $8.

If you want the Kindle version or a paper copy, you can get it on Amazon:

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  1. Richard says:

    Just to let you know,,,the book is not free….only the first three chapters and is $4.00 for the full PDF version unless I am missing something.


    s/v Gypsy Soul

    • Hmm, I downloaded the whole book just a few days ago and it was free. Just checked and I can download all the chapters individually for free or all at once if I pay. Still a good deal at $4 as the print copy is way more.

  2. I have downloaded the whole book – and Where There is No Dentist – for free. I don’t recall whether I got them directly from Hesperian. The organization is worth monetary support and I will have no objection to paying for the the two titles if/when they are next updated. I am inclined to state that these are two titles which should be aboard in Dead Tree (TM) format along with your other reference materials.

  3. Dee Dee says:

    I went to download the book and found you could only download a chapter at a time. I had already given a donation before I started the download process. So, now I am going to give them more money by buying the book – I guess it is for a good cause.

    • Richard says:

      Yea I d found this out also but did not have a chance to get back to you. For the cost of the e book is small and I already did it by downloading the chapters( great time out for the kids) but still got the ebook. You are so right great info.

      s/v Gypsy Soul

  4. anena cuthbert wanitho says:

    I visited the site to day 13/12/2014. I like the book , my father use to have the book in 1980’s, but it was stollen. I will try my best to download it for people in my village. Thanks from Ora technical institute-Warr.

  5. kunda babra says:

    I am glad I ve found this book here, I badly need it as it will help me in my studies. thanks for putting it on the net.

  6. Asuman Niyonzima says:

    I wish to have this book my be can help in medication moreve while saving life.

  7. david makulu says:

    I always dream to be a part time doctor this book will help me

  8. The companion title you mention, “Where There is no Dentist” is well worth the read, as well!

  9. Thank You, Carolyn.

  10. Used both these books extensively in Vanuatu in the early 80’s. Left the two well loved dog eared copies in the village. Very useful books. Thanks for sharing the PDF info.

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