Confusing the Diagnosis for the Person

This article by John J. Miller has been published in the Psychiatric Times. It begins:

“Imagine practicing medicine before the advent of antibiotics, vaccines, MRI scanners, and laboratory tests. Actually, relative to the history of human civilization, that was not all that long ago. The 3 most powerful medicines back then were compassion, being fully present for the patient, and listening to what the patient really needed from us. Over the past 100 years, these medicines often have dropped to the bottom of our list of treatments, and much of medicine today involves providing either a prescription or a procedure.

I sadly reminisce to my early years as a psychiatrist when I commonly spent 50 minutes, sometimes weekly, with many patients. The brief appointments lasted only 25 minutes, and often ended feeling unfinished. The first 5 to 10 minutes were spent addressing medication issues, and then the real work would begin. Open ended questions and commenting on a notable change in the patient’s posture or affect as the session progressed opened many unexpected doors, sometimes taking us to what ended up being the most important issue affecting the patient’s presenting symptoms …”

You can read more from here.

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