Letting the job get to you

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:h
  1. Tom Burns, professor of psychiatry
  1. St George's Hospital Medical School

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    It is commonplace to say that pet owners become like their pets. We also assume that professional people become affected by what they do. Surgeons become more incisive, philosophers more thoughtful, lawyers more pedantic, and so on. What happens to psychiatrists?

    I recently spent a month as Lundbeck visiting professor from the Royal College of Psychiatrists at the Indian National Institute of Mental Health Sciences in Bangalore. My hosts, Srinivasa Murthy and Mohan Isaacs, had prepared an extensive and demanding schedule in their renowned community mental health services so I readily accepted accommodation in the guest house on the institute campus rather than commute from a hotel.

    I arrived exhausted at Bangalore after a stressful flight via Bombay …

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