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Medical News and Perspectives
July 5, 2000

Patient-Physician Relationship Critical Even During Brief "Medication Checks"

JAMA. 2000;284(1):29-31. doi:10.1001/jama.284.1.29

Chicago—A psychiatry resident whose patient had committed suicide was asked to present the case to the faculty. He began by listing the medications he had prescribed. A faculty member interrupted him, saying, "Tell us about your patient." The resident replied, "I don't know much about the patient's life or his family. A social worker was the psychotherapist. I was the psychopharmacologist."

The patient, it turned out, had stopped taking his medications and also had stopped seeing the social worker. The resident, scheduled to see the patient only once every 4 months to review medications, did not know these facts.