A long career in epilepsy: A neuropsychologist reflects

  • Pam Thompson
    Corresponding author at: ESRC Epilepsy Society, Chesham Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire SL9 0RJ, UK.
    Department of Neuropsychology, National Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospital, UK

    Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, UCL, UK

    Psychology Department, Epilepsy Society, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, UK
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      Epilepsy has been a constant throughout my working life, shaping my clinical, teaching, and research endeavors. When I began working in epilepsy more than four decades ago, neuropsychologists were a rare commodity. Nowadays we form an integral part of a good quality epilepsy service. There is no way I could have envisaged, as I saw my first patient, that as my career draws to an end I would be facing people wearing a mask, gloves, and scrubs with surgical wipes at the ready (Fig. 1). In the early months of the pandemic, my contact with patients was undertaken remotely. During the Summer, we began to reinstate face-to-face encounters, albeit tentatively. By Autumn, it seemed we might be through the worst. Unfortunately this was not the case and as I write we are well into our third lockdown in the UK and the ravages of this pandemic seem relentless with overflowing hospitals, physically and emotionally drained staff and the threats, uncertainties and restrictions caused by this virus adding to the psychosocial burden of living with epilepsy.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Fig. 1Working as a neuropsychologist during the Covid pandemic.
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