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April 26, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(17):1883-1887. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820170001001

The late Colonel Salmon in the last war had to break the news to a divisional officer who was having a trying time that a psychiatrist was being attached to the division. The officer asked Dr. Salmon how one spelled psychiatrist and what sort of creature he was. He then broke out "H..., haven't I trouble enough already?" The end of the story was, however, that they lived happily ever after, or at least that the commanding officer came to appreciate the work of the psychiatrist.

The ordinary citizen, like the divisional officer, has a very hazy idea as to the nature of psychiatry and as to what the psychiatrist does or tries to do. The scope of the psychiatrist's work is not very clear to many of his medical colleagues. Etymology suggests that he has something to do with the mind; as the mind is imponderable and invisible the

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