Richard Beavington describes a novel clinical syndrome
I want to talk about a clinical syndrome I have named ‘casualty phobia’. It develops after a medical students first exposure to a busy emergency department. I noticed it developing almost insidiously. An attack starts to develop the night before I am on call, manifesting as a feeling of dread. It gets worse as, the next day, I walk slowly towards the emergency department, dressed in white coat, with yellow book and copious blue crib sheets stuffed into my pocket. Once I even walked round the long way to put off the moment when I stepped into the firing line.
Why the dread? Maybe it is fear of being stretched too far, of making a mistake or making a fool of myself
I hope that, perhaps today, therell be no patients at all, or at least that the medical in-tray will be empty. I walk through the double doors bracing