Filler A lesson to be learnt

Parenting is not on the medical curriculum

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 13 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1838
  1. Simon Atkins, senior house officer in psychiatry
  1. Bristol

    Soon after my son was born my brother in law told me that Harry was fortunate to have a doctor for a father. But I soon discovered that my medical training was poor preparation for the task of parenting.

    Initially it certainly helped, and when in the first fortnight Harry developed breast milk jaundice I felt reassured by the knowledge that this was benign and temporary and that he would soon be all right. However, he soon developed a peculiar symptom that left me totally baffled. He began sweating profusely on one side of his body.

    I began a frantic search of my bookshelf for answers but found no mention in any of my student paediatric textbooks of disorders causing unilateral perspiration. Could it perhaps be a rare defect of the autonomic …

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