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July 31, 1967

Psychiatrists as Physicians

JAMA. 1967;201(5):334. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130050068038

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To the Editor:—  Dr. Rogers J. Smith's letter in the AMA News for Jan 9, 1967, was one of many which protested the classification of psychiatrists as an entity separate from physicians in "Doctors Top List in Public Esteem" (News-week, Nov 14, 1966). A mature consideration of possible reasons for this separation, which is lamentable, with subsequent firm action on the part of the entire AMA to heal this breach, is certainly in order.One measure which would help would be for all physicians to conform to the ethical code and respect the rulings of the Judicial Council of the AMA. An editorial, "Professional Courtesy: Our Problem," in American Journal of Psychiatry (123:8 [Feb] 1967) reflects the ruling of the American Psychiatrist Association Committee on Ethics, justifying continuation of fee collection from physicians and their families, which psychiatrists were specifically enjoined not to do in a 1964 ruling of