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Doctors and writing: stranger than fiction?

Dawn Barker
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (2): 141. || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11323

The close relationship between the science of medicine and the art of writing

Today, a patient walked into my psychiatric clinic clutching a referral letter from her general practitioner. We sat down, she began to tell me her story, and I was plunged into the middle of her crisis. As we talked, I discovered things about my patient’s past that had shaped her character. Later, after work, I went home and opened a novel. I knew a little about the story from the back-cover blurb, but it wasn’t until I read the first page that I entered the world of the protagonist. I learned about her background and how it had contributed to her current predicament. As I continue to see my patient, and as I keep reading the main character’s story, I follow them both as they try to solve their problems.

  • Dawn Barker

  • In Mind Therapy Services, Perth, WA.

Correspondence: dawn.barker@bigpond.com

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