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February 14, 2001

American PsychiatryOf Two Minds: The Growing Disorder in American Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001American Medical Association

JAMA. 2001;285(6):814-815. doi:10.1001/jama.285.6.814-JBK0214-4-1

The twin revolutions of science and economics have transformed the practice of medicine in the United States by improving its efficacy through biomedicine and its efficiency through managed care. Every medical specialty has been profoundly altered by these two major forces. But the field of psychiatry has experienced more promise and turmoil, more opportunities and controversy, and more optimism and demoralization than any other specialty of medicine.

One of the best books that has come along to describe these complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes is Of Two Minds: The Growing Disorder in American Psychiatry, by T. M. Luhrmann, PhD, an anthropologist. The book is dedicated to her psychiatrist father, who was trained in a totally different era of psychiatry dominated by psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Luhrmann exhibits great empathy for her father and all psychiatrists who have simultaneously experienced scientific rebirth and identity crises.

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