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November 1963

Psychiatric Consultations on a Medical Ward

Author Affiliations


Instructor in Residence, Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Chief, Psychiatric Outpatient Department, Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif (Dr. Abrahams); Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Psychosomatic Medicine, University of California Center for Health Sciences, Los Angeles (Dr. Golden).

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(5):766-774. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860050153019

Introduction  The role of the psychiatric consultant is a subject that has received increasing attention during the past 15 years.1-3,9 Over this period, psychiatric consultation has become more common not only in the operation of casework agencies,14 school programs,4 and other community organizations,6 but also in the general hospital setting.5,7,10,15 It has been generally appreciated that better interaction between psychiatry and the other medical specialties is dependent upon overcoming some basic resistances to such interaction.12,13,28 A sign of resistance on the integration of a psychiatric service into a general hospital is often the rate and quality of requests for psychiatric assistance. This study is a "pilot" attempt to describe and delineate factors which influence requests for psychiatric consultation.It has been observed by psychiatrists that the purpose for which a consultation is requested is rarely apparent before the consultation and frequently is not apparent