Game Review “TRUST ME, I’M A DOCTOR”

I’ll keep it quick and simple, just like the game itself. With the right people playing, this game is a definite win. You need glib players willing to dive into the lunacy behind “medicine” of the old days.

Basically, there’s two decks — ailments, and cures. The ailments are full of things like ‘excess of phlegm’, ‘melancholia’, ‘typhoid’, ‘plague,’ and even ‘sin’. The cures are a rich, varied and deeply disturbing selection of actual practices from times past (and indeed, almost present in some cases: electroshock therapy is now called ‘electroconvulsive therapy’ but it is still used, IIRC, in cases of deep and intractable depression.)

Play goes more or less round the table. One person presents an ailment. All the ‘doctors’ around the table offer at least two ‘cures’ from their hands. The only proviso (and it’s quite easy to meet) is that the cure-cards presented must have at least one symbol in common with the symbols on the ailment card. (There are three symbols available. A flask represents alchemy/herbalistic junk; a sort of trident represents spiritual/mystical/psychiatric nonsense, and a pair of scissors represents the surgeon/barber lunacy.)

Once the ‘cures’ are on the table, the ‘doctors’ debate with one another. Vigorously. Enthusiastically. The game rules recommend ‘gesticulation’, and ‘exposing charlatanry and quackery’. In other words: have fun defending your particular set of idiotic medical choices while simultaneously taking a verbal dump on the choices of your opponents. At the end of the debating, the patient makes a choice as to how they’re going to die… er… be cured.

The winner is the first ‘doctor’ to ‘cure’ three ailments. I won the last hand of our test game by prescribing ‘dung juices’ and ‘perfume’ as a cure for ‘mistemperament’… so in accordance to the rules of the game, I must be referred to as ‘The Surgeon General’ for the rest of the day.



  1. barnesm · · Reply

    That sounds brilliant and you are spot on, with the right people, a hoot of an evening. One mistake however you refer to “alchemy/herbalistic junk” I think you mean “use of chemicals leads to better living”.

    1. I would agree… except that dung juices and perfume were both alchemy/herbalistic junk. I just can’t categorize ‘dung juices’ as ‘chemicals for better living’.

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