After relatively routine rounds with interns at hospital today, resident patient Gabe Wyath claimed to have rigged explosives and seized control of hospital, expelling staff and taking residents hostage. Imagine my surprise to find patient Britten on scene as early responder. The situation grew even tenser when patient Wyath would consent to speak only with Britten, and SWAT sent him inside the hospital, ostensibly to maneuver Wyath into position for sniper bullet.
From the outset, I was most impressed with Britten's calm and control in the face of a situation that would terrify most folks, myself included. Watching this man work today gave me much greater perspective on the mental condition of patient. On the job he is cool-headed, thoughtful and precise - a judicious decision-maker in the face of immediate life-and-death situations. Despite concussion and a ketamine injection that would take out a horse, patient managed to conclude the hostage situation with no loss of life. It's worth remarking that the only injury resulting from the incident was Britten's own.
One last note: Contrary to the path that a responsible psychiatrist would take, Britten chose not to play on the details of patient Wyath's sister's death to encourage his peaceful acceptance of the truth. Rather, in a move that is strikingly parallel to his own experience, Britten chose to affirm Wyath's delusion, claiming that the sister was alive, yet hiding from her captors, and thus unable to be present in Wyath's life. Although this method was persuasive enough that Wyath turned himself in, it's a sure indication of Britten's regard for delusion and truth in his own life.