Intended for healthcare professionals


A bipolar story

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 27 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:245

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  1. Raquel Duarte (, fourth year medical student
  1. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

    Being a medical student has its ups and downs. As I sat in the busy psychiatric outpatient clinic, I was having a particularly “up” day, giggling while the senior house officer vainly tried to hang up the telephone. On the other end was a bipolar patient, currently manic. “Yes, I understand, but I really have to go… Yes, goodbye… No, I am in a clinic….”

    “Pressure of speech,” I ruminated, proud at how good my psychiatric terminology was coming along on only the second day of my attachment. When my colleague finally managed to disentangle himself from the conversation, he looked at me with a strangely vindictive grin and told me that the patient was being admitted and that she would be a “wonderful candidate” for a detailed …

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