Intended for healthcare professionals


Symbolism in imagery and linguistics—perception and misperception

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 10 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1132
  1. D J Sheridan, professor of cardiology (
  1. Imperial College School of Medicine, Academic Cardiology Unit, St Mary's Hospital, London

    Puzzling consultations are not unusual and help make medicine so fascinating. In this case, however, the clinical issues were resolved by simple investigation and reassurance. My puzzlement was from my certainty that I had met this patient previously, but my inquiries elicited a confident reply that we had not. I struggled with this for, like most physicians, I have always enjoyed a facility for recognising my patients. For several weeks, the question recurred in my mind; how could I be so certain of recognising a patient whom I had never met before? The issue was resolved when I did meet my patient …

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