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Medical News
May 4, 1964

Physician Is Handicapped When Managing Mental Retardation

JAMA. 1964;188(5):38. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060310100049

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Abstract

The primary physician is handicapped in dealing with mental tardation, Leo M. Henikoff, Jr., MD, of Chicago told the AMA Conference on Mental Retardation meeting in that city, April 9-11. The physician does not have, in many cases, adequate services available and, in other cases, he does not know what services are available, Henikoff said. More importantly, the physician is handicapped by his lack of formal training dealing with retardation. Henikoff spoke as a recent medical school graduate reacting to the conference.

Theory of diagnosis and mechanics of enzyme and thyroid deficits can be taught in the classroom, Henikoff continued, but one cannot teach in the classroom how to manage a child who is retarded or how to manage the child's parents. "Ideally, one should have medical students and house staff see normals, especially newborns, in order that they may see the differentiation that occurs in the abnormal." Talking with

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