Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry

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Most textbooks in our field begin their overview with stultifying readings on historical roots of psychiatry or conceptual explorations of psychological developments in infancy. The editors of Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry assemble a dream team of American psychiatry, start with a section of 4 chapters on the Approach to the Patient, and succeed in creating a novel and alluring patient-care centered text. The thoughtfulness of this outstanding and very human entrance will not surprise those familiar with the qualities of the Massachusetts General Hospital board review courses or the ageless update and board preparation volume also edited by Dr. Stern and colleagues. Perhaps the editors here were inspired by the writings of Harry Stack Sullivan, emphasizing this common goal of all psychiatrists, which is a quintessential element in board exam success. The physician-patient relationship is of critical importance in the successful delivery of optimal care. The authors provide eloquent descriptions of this interaction; there are no hidden secrets. Miracles can happen when the therapeutic realm receives the therapist’s full attention and the patient’s full participation, and this textbook sets that priority straight from the start and keeps it close throughout.​

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(12):1988