This article attempts to describe a senior manager's search for ‘the medical model’ in psychiatry in two large provincial teaching units. I was brought to a number of realisations and moved to write this article by watching the film ‘Awakenings’∗. This portrays with great sympathy and effectiveness the angst and real pain suffered by a neurologist watching his patients in relapse and being powerless to help them. This was reminiscent of many of my consultants describing their own feelings.
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