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August 14, 1972

Innovative Techniques for Teaching Psychiatric Principles to General Practitioners

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

JAMA. 1972;221(7):696-699. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200200044010

The need for general physicians to improve their skills and effectiveness in helping patients with emotional difficulties has become more and more urgent in recent years. This problem has been of increasing concern to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP); the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has generously supported new programs; and surveys of physicians, such as those conducted by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE),1-3 have pinpointed the specific needs and have suggested fresh approaches. In attempting to inaugurate suitable physician education programs in this field, it has become increasingly apparent that emotional involvement by the physician in his own teaching and learning experience is essential if he is to change his style of counseling in practice and increase his diagnostic and interviewing skills.4-6 In short, teaching psychiatric skills to general physicians must, at least to some extent, be "experiential." Such techniques are