Today I attended a Mind-Body Interface Conference at the Royal College of Physicians. I have no idea why I enrolled for it. I am attracted to any event that might deepen my understanding of the magicians that work with the intricate workings of the mind. This was the first conference of my career where I did not know anyone at all. I had no idea what the trade stalls were talking about and I felt like an alien. Yet, in the breaks I had insightful conversations with a GP, a mental health nurse who is now a Resuscitation lead in his hospital and a child psychologist.
I learnt from the experts about the relationship of mental illness with cannabis, tobacco, functional neurological syndromes, diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Restless leg Syndrome, Insomnia. There was also a very descriptive talk on emergency management of Anorexia Nervosa. It was all very interesting but my intellectual mind and emotional mind were in constant battle with each other giving me a severe headache. It brought up more questions about Saagar. The idealistic solutions proposed by some gave me an insight into how far the theory is from the practical realities of life like poor funding and poor access to specialist services.
Being there made me really angry at GMC’s decision to not carry on with investigations into Saagar’s death in any detail. They seem to think everyone did their job properly. If that is the case, how did he die within weeks of his diagnosis?
In medicine it is a common teaching that when we treat someone, we should make decisions guided by what we would do if the patient was a dear one of ours. I wonder if the Examiners at the GMC apply that principle to themselves while taking decisions – how deeply would I investigate if this damaged/deceased young man was my child?