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June 18, 1982

DSM-IIIImplications for Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine

JAMA. 1982;247(23):3207-3209. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320480023019

FOR DECADES, psychiatry and the rest of medicine have been locked in an unhappy courtship, unable to live together and yet unable to live apart. In periodic self-assessments, psychiatrists acknowledge that they have let their general medical skills get rusty, and nonpsychiatrist physicians, on their part, admit that they ignore, too often, crucial psychosocial issues in their care of patients.

Ironically, both camps accept the need for a holistic medical point of view, that is, an approach to patient care that simultaneously encompasses all the biologic, psychological, and social factors that affect a given patient; although both camps have paid lip service to it, they have thus far failed to achieve that goal. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (ed 3) (DSM-III) can be the long sought for unifying catalyst.

DSM-III is the title of the most recently issued edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of the