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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Responding to the increasing attention paid to professionalism in medicine and the decision by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to make professionalism one of their mandated core competencies, this book uses case examples and other methods to stimulate conversations about professionalism in psychiatry.
Purpose: Though there is increasing literature about the importance of training residents in the area of professionalism in all specialties of medicine, there are few books that tackle this topic as it relates to the environments and clinical situations arising in psychiatry. This book attempts this feat.
Audience: Penned primarily for those in the field of mental health, this book also may be useful for those in the process of being trained as psychiatrists or involved in administrating training programs.
Features: Much has been written about the aspects of professionalism that relate to patient care, but these authors also turn to more complex and elusive topics such as cyberspace, "Interprofessional and Intercollegial Relationships," and conflicts of interest. Many chapters contain vignettes and case examples, and all end with a key points section that briefly summarizes the content.
Assessment: Written by some of the leading authors in North American psychiatry, this book begins the thoughtful discussion about how to address and teach deficiencies in professionalism. As they suggest, lapses in professionalism among medical practitioners has often been overlooked or explained away by enablers. This book was not designed to end the conversation, but to encourage discussion of issues related to professionalism using the context of clinical situations in psychiatry. In many cases, the vignettes raise as many questions as they answer, forcing readers to examine their own moral foundations. In particular, the chapter on cyberspace is timely and illustrates the widening gap in the use of technology between those guiding residents in training and those being trained, with the latter often significantly more knowledgeable and sophisticated in its use. It is an excellent start to an ever-evolving dialogue.