Disturbing Ground

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 27 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:226
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh
  1. University College London

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    Priscilla Masters

    Allison & Busby, £17.99, pp 254

    ISBN 0 7490 0582 3

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    Be honest. Have you ever received some shocking news about a patient (suicide, murder, incarceration, abuse) and pulled their medical notes off the shelf out of curiosity? I certainly have.

    The archive of unremarkable, even commonplace, entries made on the record years or even decades previously acquire a new significance when reinterpreted in the light of the subsequent dramatic event. Frequent attendance as a child with minor ailments, an unusual head injury, a curious phobia, or a two year gap when the patient claimed to have …

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