Parenting is not on the medical curriculumBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7147.1838 (Published 13 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1838
- Simon Atkins, senior house officer in psychiatry
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 …