Rubbed Up the Wrong Way: Barnstaple physiotherapist’s memoirs on life behind the curtains

Retired Barnstaple physiotherapist Grace Dorey MBE has written a humorous account of her 54 year car

Retired Barnstaple physiotherapist Grace Dorey MBE has written a humorous account of her 54 year career in Rubbed Up the Wrong Way. - Credit: Archant

A retired Barnstaple physiotherapist has published her memoirs of what really goes on behind the curtains in Rubbed Up the Wrong Way.

Grace Dorey MBE will be well-known to many for her work and clinics at North Devon District Hospital, and was also an expert in her field as well as an international lecturer.

The 80-year-old brings plenty of humour to medical memoirs that span an impressive half century career in which she also managed to write three textbooks and eight self-help books.

She currently divides her time between her homes in Barnstaple and Ireland and hopes to return to North Devon once the coronavirus pandemic eases.

The book begins with her first day as a trembling 18-year-old physiotherapy student in 1958 and runs up to the day she received her MBE for her physiotherapy research.


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It follows the trials and tribulations of a career in physiotherapy and the many interesting and poignant things that can happen along the way – especially when rubbing patients up the wrong way.

The book also shows how much the NHS has changed and how the practice of physiotherapy has evolved since the 1950s.

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Told with humour and compassion, Grace shows her readers what really goes on behind the hospital curtains, in one of the first medical memoirs to be written by a distinguished physiotherapist.

Professor Grace Dorey MBE FCSP PhD worked as a chartered physiotherapist for 54 years.

She trained at The London Hospital, and has worked at numerous hospitals as well as running a private practice in Chesham Bois and Harley Street.

She moved to Barnstaple in 1998 to read for her PhD at the University of the West of England, Bristol on ‘Pelvic Floor Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction’.

While she was studying at home, she started a continence clinic at North Devon District Hospital with Dr Seumas Eckford and another one at the Somerset Nuffield Hospital, Taunton, where she treated her research patients.

For relaxation she played tennis at the Tarka Tennis Centre and also bought a golden retriever puppy called William, who kept her entertained with his mischievous foibles and is the subject of three books.

Rubbed Up the Wrong Way is available from the normal online outlets or from the publisher at www.bookguild.co.uk or your local bookshop.

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