During the first year of her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship, this psychiatrist received an invaluable lesson regarding the importance of “treating the whole patient” in this case, a 16-year-old patient who is pregnant.
Two problems persist in the treatment of severe mental illness that constitute a barrier to effective patient-centered care: excessive reliance on a limited number of antipsychotic medications at the expense of other effective treatments, and the underutilization of other evidence-based treatment options.
Psychiatry is a profession that deeply needs honest workers who are willing to seek a knowing ignorance, to be dissatisfied, and to refuse to conform—doing so in the interest of the truth and of the profession, seeing both as inseparable.
There are no books written by, or even about, locum tenens psychiatrists. Why is that? Why is their story—the story of psychiatrists who "hold a place," participate a bit, and then move on—not shared? Is there nothing in their experience worth sharing?