John Collee, in his column in The Observer, said that a febrile illness should be compulsory for every doctor, as it reminds one of what being a patient is like. Having been ill recently myself, I can only endorse this view. I rather overdid it in that I acquired a severe head injury which resulted in admission to hospital for six months. As a psychiatrist with a head injury I found myself in a near unique position in that I not only had the experience of being a patient but can now understand some of the psychological processes of recovering from a head injury. Although neuropsychiatry was a field I was interested in, I would not have chosen this method of investigating it!
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