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August 20, 1997

The Psychopharmacologists

Author Affiliations

Saint Louis University School of Medicine St Louis, Mo

JAMA. 1997;278(7):598. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550070090047

David Healy's consideration of his professional life in psychopharmacology led him to interview other scientists in the field. Their collective memories, recorded in The Psychopharmacologists, comprise a history of psychopharmacology. The stories are of camaraderie and alienation, mentorship and partnership, generosity and jealousy, passion and disappointment, ambition and curiosity. The most important tales are rich with ideas and full of enthusiasm. The reader is privy to the thoughts of 25 psychopharmacologists as they reveal their efforts in developing psychotropic drugs during the past five decades.

Representing the North American scene are nine psychopharmacologists—Ayd, Axelrod, Ban, Bloom, Cole, Klein, Lehmann, Meltzer, and van Praag. Accounts by 16 European interviewees also cover the events and the personalities in America. Their interrelatedness through mutual mentoring and hosting indicates a close-knit relationship, with many connections to the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md, a kinship similar to the Medici royal family