The insights gained by doctors when they become patients

·1-min read

I am a bit older than Henry Marsh, but as a retired consultant anaesthetist with a new significant medical problem, I found that I could relate to his struggle to admit he needed medical help himself (How brain surgeon Henry Marsh went from doctor to patient, 13 August).

I understood why he called himself a coward for not facing up to a problem that he finally admitted he had known about for years. It is so much more difficult to seek help when you are used to being the one in charge, and when you have taken so much trouble to look after your health. Suddenly, your body, which you trusted, has let you down; it seems so unfair.

How insightful that Marsh saw hospitals as prisons, where you have to obey orders. I wish I had seen that when I was in practice; it would have made me a more sensitive doctor, as he seems to have been.

I thank him for this glimpse into his life as a patient and I wish him peace, acceptance and contentment, which is better than hope. Long may his remission last.
Gill Edwards
Blewbury, Oxfordshire

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