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[Perspectives] Landscapes of the mind

One of my most vivid memories of my training in psychiatric hospitals concerns a young man, recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, who was being interviewed, rather publicly, at a teaching case conference attended by junior and senior staff members. I was acquainted with this young man, and knew him to have a contrarian, often sardonic streak. At one point the consulting psychiatrist—a revered figure at this hospital and beyond—asked the patient how he felt about losing a recent election for the patients’ government of the ward.