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December 18, 1948


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Internal Medicine, the Lahey Clinic.

JAMA. 1948;138(16):1135-1138. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900160003002

Consciously or unconsciously every physician, surgeon or specialist must give attention to the influence of mental, nervous and emotional factors in health, illness and convalescence. More than any other, the general practitioner has always been noted for the consideration given to the feelings and personality of the sick. That his efforts in this field have met with a large measure of success is demonstrated by the loyalty of his patients.

There has been evidence of an increasing desire to learn more about psychiatry and its contribution to medical practice, but when a general practitioner or internist turns to any of the older textbooks written by a psychiatrist, he may fail to secure the help he needs. He will find a lengthy discussion of major mental disorders and relatively little attention given to minor mental and emotional factors. For the average practitioner a psychosis occurs only in an exceptional case. He