Friday, 18 May 2012

Baroness Hollins' Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young's castaway this week was Baroness Hollins, the professor of psychiatry of learning disabilities.

It was very inspiring, and encouraging - she is becoming president of the BMA in a few months time, so hopes to raise the profile of mental illness (and learning difficulties), and has had serious illness in the family too so understands the reality for patients.

One of reasons she went into Psychiatry was because as a GP, 70% of her patients had emotional and psychological problems - a stint in psychiatry would help her understand them, but then she stayed in the discipline! 70% is a staggeringly high number, especially if ones considers the small number of weeks doctors spend during their training on a psychiatry rotation. There really is a psychological element to every long-term condition and illness.

She also talks about the diagnosis of her son with learning difficulties was a slow gradual realisation that dawned on them, rather than a quick and simple diagnosis - something that I think a common experience for most patients with long-term conditions.

Worth a listen (here) - very interesting story!

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