Intended for healthcare professionals


Homage to delirium

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 19 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:485
  1. Craig J Wilson, fellow in geriatric medicine
  1. Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

    I recently started a fellowship in geriatric medicine at a large academic facility, and it was with some trepidation that I saw the list of my patients for the next two years—“dean of this,” “professor of that.” Fresh from residency in a community based hospital, I felt as if these figures from medical school clinical examinations had come back to haunt me.

    And then “professor of that” was admitted to hospital. I spent some time with this retired medical school dean, when he entertained us with his past glories. I did not expect him to succumb to a delirium so shortly after admission. Perhaps part of me failed to accept that a great academic figure could so rapidly become just like the other frail, grey souls struggling with reality in their hospital beds.

    As we …

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