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A Piece of My Mind
April 24, 2018

When Mind Deforms Body

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2018;319(16):1659-1660. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4102

I stop just outside the patient's room, as a nurse rubs her hands with sanitizer. “I’m here from psychiatry. How’s he doing?” I ask. “He was in pain most of the night, so he didn't sleep well,” she says, “His grafts look intact, but he's got a long road ahead.”

Looking in the doorway, I notice a one-to-one sitter at the bedside, a member of the hospital staff assigned to watch the patient around the clock. I'm about to introduce myself to a patient who tried to kill himself with a gun but survived. It's not the first time I've had to do this, but it never comes easy.

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