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Abnormal Treatment Behaviour: Jannie Geertsema at DFTB18


This talk was recorded live at DFTB18 in Melbourne, Australia. With the theme of ‘Science and Story’, we pushed our speakers to step out of their comfort zones and consider why we do what we do. Caring for children is about acquiring scientific knowledge and looking beyond a diagnosis or clinical conundrum at the patient and their families. Tickets for DFT19, which will be held in London, UK, are now on sale from

Jannie Geertsema is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. In this talk, he reminds us of one of the challenges that face all doctors – who are we actually treating? Is it the child in front of us, is it their mother, is it the family dynamic?

How we treat our patients can be impacted by so many factors extraneous to the disease itself. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the field of child psychiatry, where how the clinician reacts to the illness script of the patient can have a profound effect on the persistence of the sick role.

Listen to this talk and be challenged!

And always remember the immortal words of Samuel Shem’s Fat Man…

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