Fillers A memorable patient

A case of mistaken diagnosis

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 31 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:775
  1. Barid B Bhattacharya, locum consultant psychiatrist
  1. Wonford House Hospital, Wonford, Exeter EX2 5AF

    It was around May or June 1977. I had started my house job in psychiatry in India a couple of months before. Psychiatry was a brand new subject for me.

    I was attending an outpatient clinic daily. The clinic was extremely busy. There were no set appointments (most of the patients did not have telephones at home), no distinct catchment area, and a referral letter from the general practitioner was not required. It was not surprising that a big crowd gathered in the clinic every morning seeking treatment. It was probably only the stigma of mental illness, which was more prevalent in those days, that prevented …

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