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December 1959

Dual Role of the Psychiatric Consultant in the Community

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(6):561-564. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590060023001

Historians are recording the remarkable growth and development of psychiatry as a specialty. As a result of such rapid change, the psychiatrist has been faced with the need to assume greater community responsibility. From the role of psychiatric outpatient clinician, with relatively few patients in his charge, the psychiatrist is being urged to take on roles such as “mental health” director and “mental health” consultant, where potentially the entire local community is involved.

With this rapid expansion of the “mental health” movement into the area of health promotion, communities are discovering that their already overtaxed psychiatric facilities are unable to meet the new demands. Consequently, pressures are placed on the psychiatrist to yield the priority of clinical treatment to psychiatrically nontraditional professional functions.

A recent study of “Role Relations in the Mental Health Professions” suggests that there is an increasing need for psychiatrists to recognize new role

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