September 10, 1997

Seminars in Liaison Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY


edited by Elspeth Guthrie and Francis Creed, 300 pp, with illus, paper, $30, ISBN 0-902241-95-8, London, England, Gaskell/Royal College of Psychiatrists, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;278(10):872-873. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550100098051

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As in the other College Seminars texts under the aegis of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Seminars in Liaison Psychiatry is purportedly "intended to help junior doctors during their training years," advise the series editors in the foreword. Reading through the 10 chapters, it becomes clear that pearls abound. Though covering the basics for the new trainee—such "obvious" things as making certain the intended patient knows a psychiatric consultant is coming, and why—many chapters remind the more seasoned clinician of things easily forgotten, especially if, as for many of us, consultative work is a "sometime thing."

How many of us, lacking a high index of suspicion, would recognize the risk of "fit young men" becoming delirious after an operation, resulting from sudden cessation of steady alcohol intake? Like-wise, how readily would we recognize that cognitive-behavioral therapy may be useless in people whose eating disorders are