October 1959

An Approach to Psychiatric Consultation in the General Hospital

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.
Assistant Resident (Dr. Schiff). Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(4):349-357. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590040019001

The function of the psychiatric consultant is a problem that has received increasing attention in the past 15 years. Over this period psychiatric consultation has become much commoner in the operation of casework agencies, school programs, and other community organizations. In the general hospital setting the role of the psychiatric consultant has changed considerably. It has enlarged in scope and has become considerably more than a diagnostic or intermediary service prior to commitment. In the hospital a greater therapeutic function is expected of the consultant. With these changes have come many questions related to the altered role of the psychiatric consultant and to a clearer definition of the nature of the service he has to offer.

Fresh interest in the problems of psychiatric consultation is reflected in an enlarged literature which has appeared since World War II. The major contributors to this literature have

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