Sharon Packer, MD

Sharon Packer, MD

Dr Packer is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, NY. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Cinema’s Sinister Psychiatrists (McFarland, 2012). She is in private practice in New York City.

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When Wordsworth rhapsodized about yellow flowers, it is doubtful that he expected his verse to translate into the mental health realm. Yet that is exactly what happened.

Here's the story of a man with long-standing diabetes -- a pillar of the community-- who had been behaving strangely. He taught his physicians to look past the obvious clues and ultimately learn a lesson they never forgot.

Five key events in 2013 will leave a longlasting mark on psychiatry. Here: a look at the impact that CPT coding, DSM-5, sunshine laws, a shrinking market for “shrinks,” and I-STOP are likely to have on our field.

As practicing physicians, we constantly ask ourselves when and where to alert patients to bad possibilities that may occur in the future. More in this installment of "Why Psychiatrist Are Physicians First," by Sharon Packer, MD.

Most New Yorkers were afraid to venture outdoors after the Twin Towers toppled, so a short term, part-time locums post opened upstate, an escape from the decaying metropolis and retreat to the country. What could go wrong in such an idyllic setting?

What if someone with “prescriptive privileges” looked at superficial symptoms only, and ordered antipsychotics without considering the bigger picture?

The subtext of Iron Man III speaks directly to psychiatry. Spoiler alert: You might choose to wait to watch the movie – or read this article.

Dr Osheroff played a significant role for psychiatric practice in the 1980s. For many, his situation personified the changes that swept psychiatry at that critical juncture.

For now, it is encouraging to know that psychiatrists remember that they, too, are physicians first who can tap into their medical training to provide comprehensive patient care.

Psychiatry residents can carve out a career in the area of psychiatry that interests them. If drawn to specialized topics, such as atypical bipolar disorder, club drugs, glutamate transporters, or genetic links to autism, then they should pursue those avenues.

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