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April 1964

Principles of the Comprehensive Examination

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(4):370-381. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720220048009

Introduction  Although the concept of the "whole man" was taught as long ago as ancient Greek times, medicine is only recently emerging from a period in which the physician fixed his attention almost exclusively upon physical ailments. In the not too distant past the physician felt ashamed to use psychological therapy or even such procedures as massages and baths because the rationale for their use was not "scientifically" established.1 A reaction against this therapeutic nihilism is now in full swing. Strangely enough it presents the peculiar contradiction that by emphasizing specialty practice, and thereby limiting areas of work, the physician is still practicing isolated medicine. Yet there is much talk of psychosomatics. Of course a member of the psychiatric staff is often assigned to the medical or surgical service. However, in his office or on his ward, the psychiatrist often neglects or overlooks physical illness to

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