Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 01 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b1929
  1. Alexis Descatha, occupational and emergency physician, occupational health unit, Raymond Poincare University Hospital, Garches, France
  1. alexis.descatha{at}

    When I came in the examining room, he was sat in bed. Even though I was confident with my white shirt and red bow-tie, I sensed a strange feeling. I checked his medical file in order to understand why my resident had asked me to see the patient, admitted to the hepatology unit the previous day for investigations.

    I read that he had schizophrenia. The psychiatric disorder was written in bold characters; my odd sensation considerably increased. At this time, I was a young and untrained student, who had never been so close to “madness” before. I forgot …

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