I am just back from taking part in a fortnight's refresher course in Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China, attended by about 35 psychiatrists from other provinces and about 35 more from mental hospitals locally or from the host department of psychiatry of Sichuan Medical College. My part was to give six lectures and eight question-and-answer sessions on general adult psychiatry, and to hold four case conferences. With the help of good interpreters I learned that Chengdu patients are much like those in London, and are given the same psychotropic drugs in the same doses with similar effects. Although oral language is a barrier, facial expression, body posture and gesture appear to be international and one can learn a good deal from them.
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