The Loss of Intellectual Capital
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on September 16, 2013
I have this conversation multiple times a day. “What jobs are out there for psychiatrists?” a student asks. “Psychopharmacology jobs,” I respond with a sense of horror and shame. Agencies dealing with the mentally ill, look to the psychiatrist for a prescription, and not for an assessment or treatment plan. This means that when psychiatrists look for employment, their jobs are to write prescriptions, with different employers having different expectations for how much time to spend with a patient in order to write this prescription. Adding on, agencies are also asking psychiatrists to trust the assessments done by other professionals, rather than taking the time to make their own opinion. This is my rant, a major incentive for my blog. How can this be? How can organizations not appreciate that we, as psychiatrists, bring so much more to the table than our prescription pad? We bring an understanding of the brain, the mind, and the body. We have lost our way, and now we need to get it back. We need to remind the public that our assessment skills are valuable and they take time, which will be well spent in developing treatment plans for patients. I will repeat this theme over and over again, as it stands now, psychiatry has to right itself. We are like an insect on our backs, flailing our legs to turn over so that we can stand up and move on. I hope we turn over soon.