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Michael B. First, MD

Michael B. First, MD

Dr First is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University.

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Advances in digital publishing that allow instantaneous dissemination of changes at minimal cost have paved the way towards the adoption of a continuous improvement model for DSM, in which revisions are pegged to specific scientific advances.

Several updates to ICD-10-CM affect the diagnostic codes used by mental health practitioners. One important update involves the codes for substance use disorders. Details here.

Got a challenging case—a patient for whom the diagnosis is unclear or uncertain? Want a diagnostic opinion? This is a call for cases. Michael First, MD—a nationally recognized expert on psychiatric diagnosis and assessment issues—will review details and offer insights on select cases.

DSM-5 and ICD-10-CM

The good news? Compared with our non-psychiatric colleagues, we psychiatrists are in very good shape when it comes to switching over to ICD-10-CM.

How Clinicians Actually Use the DSM

Given that one of the primary goals of making DSM revisions is to improve its clinical utility, establishing a baseline of current usage is critical to inform future proposals. For this and other reasons, the authors provide preliminary results from research focused on determining clinicians’ actual use of DSM.

A proper psychiatric diagnosis requires the ability to elicit information, identify symptoms, and recognize behavioral patterns. Dr Michael First, author of DSM-5 Handbook of Differential Diagnosis, summarizes key points in this brief video.

A video featuring the author of the DSM-5 Handbook, Dr Michael First describes differential diagnosis and assessment, central components of clinical practice.

Dr Muller, in his piece “Psychiatric Symptoms Can be Understood Even When These Symptoms Cannot Be Explained,” makes a number of assertions about DSM-III and its successors that reflect a mischaracterization of its “descriptive approach.”

DSM-IV-TR, our current diagnostic classification system of psychiatric disorders, follows the diagnostic paradigm first established by DSM-III in 1980.

The DSM may be flawed, but it is the best available system for organizing and diagnosing mental disorders, and it remains a model for other medical specialties.

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