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Student Life

Enlightened by epilepsy?

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 01 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:0804152
  1. Craig McKay, fourth year medical student1
  1. 1Warwick Medical School

He had the first seizure on the rugby pitch and the second in a lecture. Might Craig McKay become a better doctor for having epilepsy?

A sudden diagnosis of an illness is a shock at any age, particularly if you're healthy, fit, and in your 20s. And as a medical student, it's easy to fear the worst because you try to identify your own problems using your textbooks.

I had my first epileptic seizure two and a half years ago while playing rugby for the medical school team with my student contemporaries and work colleagues. The combination of a few drunken late nights, no sleep before the game, and nothing to eat that day triggered the seizure. Immediately after I was postictal and confused.

According to my team mates, in the postictal phase I ran around the pitch and managed a conversation with the paramedic. It's really scary that I don't remember anything. I was rushed by ambulance to …

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