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February 1963

Handbook of Psychiatric Treatment in Medical Practice

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(2):272. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620260132033

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This volume attempts to provide the medical practitioner with an operating manual of psychiatry. Such problems as who should give and receive treatment, treatment techniques of specific disorders, and a schedule of psychopharmacological agents are succinctly enumerated. The authors utilize the technique of questions and answers to accomplish their goal.

In spite of the authors' good intentions the book fails to achieve its purpose. Many recommendations turn out to be platitudes, and at times the answers are so obscure as to be meaningless. In their attempt to present a cogent appraisal of psychiatry, the authors have condensed the material to such a point that it is difficult to recognize various psychiatric syndromes without having had a rich background in psychiatry.

This volume can best be described as a cursory "how to do it" excursion into psychiatry. It is of doubtful value, and one wonders why the volume was published.

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