Friday, June 27, 2008

Are Psychiatrists Real Doctors?

Dr. Moffic attempts to answer this question in Clinical Psychiatry News:
A flight attendant came down the aisle asking whether there was a doctor on the plane. My wife must have thought I was one, and told the flight attendant so. She then woke me and told me of the concern.
Was I a “real” doctor? After all, hadn't I been writing about how psychiatrists' medical backgrounds should distinguish them from psychologists, even to the extent that I suggested that our next diagnostic manual should only be for us? But being a “real” doctor in real life is far different from just writing about it. Was this some sort of cosmic test for me?
My wife, who is a psychiatrist, has volunteered my medical services on a flight before.

There are some inaccuracies in Dr. Moffic's article:
These days, a medical internship is the first of the 4 years of psychiatric residency training, and consists exclusively of medical rotations, including neurology.
A psychiatric internship is not the same as a medical internship. A typical psychiatry internship consists of 4 month of medicine, 1-2 months neurology, and 6-7 months of psychiatry. Most psychiatrists are ill-prepared to treat medical illness.


Aubrey said...

Actually the reason psychiatrists are not real doctors is that they have stood by in silence over the widespread fraud and data manipulation that has taken place in psychiatric clinical drug trials. They have stood back in silence as their KOL's have coined millions in fees for touting "views", and have continued to stand by in silence as it has been discovered that their colleagues have lied.

Of course the whole of medicine is undergoing such convulsions, but the problems of psychiatry are most obvious and all pervasive.

Cody said...

Thank you for the article, very useful piece of writing.
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