Reid Finlayson: A Life on Lithium and Lessons Learned.


Reid Finlayson’s reply to Samuel Gershon’s comments


       Thank you for your thoughtful words. My father, who trained in psychiatry at the University of Toronto in the mid 1950s, was called Alexander formally, but family and friends knew him as Alistair. He was friendly, outgoing and devoted to family and his patients. Early on I thought my illness would embarrass him but that was never the case. He was always supportive and interested in what was happening to me, curious and kind but never argumentative or authoritarian. He was interested in what I planned and never critical. He consistently offered to be helpful without obligation. Dad practiced well into his 80s and then cared for my mother in her declining years. As I get older, I think about them often and fondly.

       I was very fortunate to have met Paul Grof, who recommended lithium treatment for me in 1974. He was a terrific psychiatrist and mentor, who was always very patient, kind, thoughtful and available.  We also became good friends while we both worked in Ottawa in the early 1990s. Paul gave a wonderful grand rounds presentation at Vanderbilt late last year and it was nice to have a chance to see him again – if only on Zoom! 

       I appreciate your suggestion and would be pleased if my experiences were useful to others.


May 27, 2021