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May 4, 1984

Psychiatry's Agenda for the '80s

Author Affiliations

President-Elect American Psychiatric Association New York

JAMA. 1984;251(17):2250. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340410058033

It is often said that psychiatry as a science is in its infancy. To me, however, it seems that we've passed through infancy and a very stormy adolescence and are now looking somewhat eagerly yet apprehensively at adulthood—with all the opportunities and problems that phase of life contains.

Certainly, much of psychiatry's future parallels that of the rest of medicine. We are all preoccupied with cost containment and its inevitable impact on our practices, patients, and personal incomes. Whether it's the alphabet soup of governmental initiatives such as DRGs, PPOs, or PROs, the increasing impact of third-party constraints, or the specter of proprietary businesses intruding into medicine, we know we will never practice medicine again in the way we have grown accustomed to. Our members are moving from solo practice to "organized settings," our patients are paying with insurance and not personal savings, and our practices are burdened by increasing