Letters

By Blumenfield, Michael | Clinical Psychiatry News, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Letters


Blumenfield, Michael, Clinical Psychiatry News


Psychodynamic Training Is Valuable

Young residents choosing to go into psychiatry today are like many other young people: they are idealistic, motivated to help others, and want to make a difference in the world. I say "world," because so much of our thinking today is global.

Emerging psychiatrists in the United States not only might be first- or second-generation Americans. They also might be international graduates with connections to their native lands. They also are networked to friends and colleagues across the globe.

Many people are drawn to psychiatry because they are fascinated by human behavior and the complexities of the human mind, relationships, response to trauma, sexuality, and child development, as well as to discoveries in neurochemistry, psychosomatic medicine, genetics, and psychopharmacology.

We also tend to be interested in social issues, the plight of underprivileged, and, of course, the worldwide economic crises that surround them.

However, many psychiatrists narrow their focus early in their careers and gravitate mainly toward doing psychopharmacology, forensic psychiatry, working in emergency departments, running inpatient units, and so on.

Clearly, these are essential aspects of our profession that require great talent and skill. It is not necessary to put aside the interests that brought them into psychiatry in the first place in order to include this work as part of their profession. Nor should new psychiatrists put aside their curiosity in learning about psychoanalytic theory and psychodynamic psychiatry. If they do embrace this course of study, they will find it extremely relevant to so many of the other areas they have cultivated in their training.

If young psychiatrists choose to make it their primary field of interest, not only will they be gratified in their work with patients. They also will find many meaningful doors open to them in their professional work. …

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