Sunday, 30 November 2014

From Person to Patient to Person Again

November 2010 was when I stopped medical school in my fourth year and each year, November is when I return to my old university to lecture to 4th year medical students. For me, this is even more of a point of reflection on the last 12 months that the 1st January.

When I started lecturing it was very much focused on my experience and the challenges of that, but this year felt very different and a quantum leap in terms of my own journey when I felt confident lecturing and chose my title this year “From person to patient to person again”. The fact that I felt able to talk about this (basically the biopsychosocial model and self-management) in that venue is quite special. The lecture theatre was one I was lectured in as a student, and on site at the teaching hospital where I was admitted to A&E when my health first started to deteriorate. Driving up the main drag into A&E hardly breathing isn’t a strong memory for me, but the fear in my fathers voice as he kept asking me to blow bubbles so he could see that I was still breathing still sticks with me. Now I am able to go through that same road and experience a very different set of emotions as I approach the Medical School to lecture instead. 

Monday, 24 November 2014


On Thursday last week I was at an event where a professional really honestly said "I'm not really sure what working with patients mean". I appreciated their honesty and mentioned that it is often harder to describe than it is to feel, and sometimes easier to explain what it isn't.

Last week also proved the culmination of another experience where "involvement" was a very visceral feeling of extremes.