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It's good to talk

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7328.57 (Published 05 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:57
  1. Lynsey Hoy, medical senior house officer
  1. Southend General Hospital

    Much of a doctor's work centres around communication. It seems a little disproportionate, then, that as an undergraduate, I spent only two days on a communication skills course. However, as a student at Royal Free and University College London Medical School, I also took part in a student psychotherapy scheme, a kind of training that I think should be more widely available.

    Students who join see one (carefully selected) patient, on their own, for one hour a week, for up to 18 months. Students also meet weekly in small supervision groups, with a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, to present and discuss each session with patients.

    I realised that I do not have to be the perfect doctor. It is acceptable to have limitations

    My patient was an anxious nurse in her early 30s. She was experiencing difficulties concerning an enmeshed relationship with her mother, with whom she lived. She had suffered several traumatic separations during her life. The main issues we discussed concerned closeness, trust, separation anxiety, and loss. She was extremely …

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