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When I returned from sick leave, colleagues remarked that some of my patients were barmy.
'Thank god you're back,' said one, 'because they've all been seeing me.' She booked Mrs Colon in to see me on day one ('something wild, I expect,' she chortled happily).
It usually isn't anything wild, pathologically speaking, but as GPs we don't see the disease, we see the person (and thank goodness for that).
Our daily challenge is not diagnosis, but assessment of illness personality.
This determines how people use us and offers the key to the consultation.
Miss Anxious, for instance, does not suffer from clinical anxiety, but from having …