This book is useful, pragmatic, and easily readable additional to any practicing psychiatrist's library, no matter what his or her level of expertise. Overall, this elegant and earthy book offers a pragmatic and effective guide to the impact of ethics in daily clinical practice in psychiatry.
Reviewer: Steven T Herron, MD (CPI/Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Compiled by various authors from multiple institutions throughout the United States, this book describes brief clinical situations highlighting the complexities of a variety of professional and ethical problems confronted by mental health professionals.
Purpose: Meant to address some of the shortcomings of the current models of educating mental health professionals about these professional and ethical situations, this book combines clinical cases and descriptions of problem-solving techniques to assist individuals in learning how to navigate these complicated dilemmas.
Audience: Focused primarily on professionals working in the mental health system, this book can be especially useful for those participating in the clinical care of patients, whether they are seasoned veterans or relative novices.
Features: The main body of this book consists of case-based formulations with potential ethical and professional pitfalls in the areas of clinical care, research, and interactions with peers and trainees. An additional chapter addresses core concepts in these topics. Cases are followed by questions (mostly multiple choice, with some matching) and a brief, but complete, discussion of the subject. Each answer is followed by at least two references for more detailed exploration, and the final chapter is a self assessment exercise with answers and references.
Assessment: Unique in its approach, this book offers a method of learning and teaching this exquisitely complex subject in a manner that comprehensively covers the methods necessary to understand the thought process involved in developing a complete approach to these problems. It provides a good foundation for discussion, allowing for the flexibility needed in the decision making process, as there is frequently more than one way to think about these issues and develop a cohesive plan. The most awkward feature of this book is the placement of the answers to the questions after the explanations which makes quick review of the chapters difficult.