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October 23, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(4):359-360. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130170159033

Pinel, one of the first of the modern schools of alienists to study in depth the reactions of the mentally disturbed, was also one of the first to promote a humane regimen of treatment for the institutionalized insane. Although his unshackling of the unfortunate was a dramatic and widely acclaimed program, his formulation of a nosology of disease, based upon accurate observation and accurate description, and a rational regimen of management are equally noteworthy. Pinel was born at St. André in the département du Tarn and attended the Collége des Doctrinaires at Lavaur, where he concentrated on ancient and contemporary logic and philosophy. Intending at one time to enter the priesthood, he turned from the humanities to science and medicine; however, he effectively integrated a diversity of intent in the practice of psychiatry. The medical degree was taken at Toulouse in 1773, followed by further studies in anatomy and physiology