Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Reviews

Finals from the patient's perspective

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 01 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:010241a
  1. Clinical student at University College Hospital

I have been meaning to write this article for a long time-since I was 15 in fact. That was when I volunteered to be a patient subject for medical school examinations for a small fee of £7. At the time I had been in what is politely called an “adult psychiatric unit” for four months, so the prospect of a day out was very appealing.

I had been pumped up to a prescribed target weight, so my outward appearance as a 15 year old was cruelly deceptive. Inside, however, I was far from cured, making me a tricky subject for such examinations. Furthermore, my history was a personal odyssey of extreme despair and abject misery.

I had no idea of what the day held in store, but the excitement at boarding the minibus, along with several others from the unit-though I was by far the youngest-was quickly replaced on our arrival by nervous anticipation as we were shepherded into a sort of communal sitting …

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