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THE REACTIONS OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS TO A PSYCHIATRIC ABSTRACTING SERVICE
RUSSELL N. CARRIER; ROBERT S. GARBER; CYRIL M. FRANKS
Am J Psychiatry 1959;116:339-343.
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The Carrier Clinic, Belle Mead, N. J.

New Jersey Neuro-Psychiatric Inst., Princeton, N. J.

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Abstract

In conclusion and summary then, the Carrier Clinic Abstracts of Psychiatry for the General Practitioner seems to be fairly successful in meeting a recognized need of the general practitioner for practical information and guidance about commonly encountered psychiatric disorders. It is apparently also serving a function which is not quite as well recognized as a need by the average general practitioner–namely the need to develop partial insight into personal reactions and into doctor-patient interactions regardless of the nature of the presenting complaint.The editors and abstracting committee would be advised to develop their searching and abstracting techniques in two different directions. First, they have to recognize that a wealth of practical material of direct value to the general practitioner sometimes lies obscured beneath a mass of technical detail and highly professional idiom which is frequently only intelligible to the specialist and his specialized cohort–and sometimes not even to them. It is the task of the editors to discover, translate and edit the relevant portions of these articles and present them to the general practitioner in readable, yet still accurate, form. Second, they have to seek out, condense and collect under one roof the more significant of those non-specialist psychiatric articles which lie scattered from time to time throughout the 3,000 or so medical journals which appear regularly somewhere in the world. Here the problems are primarily those of wise selection and good condensation.From the point of view of prospective authors the urgent need seems to be for concise and up to date information on the various problems associated with state and voluntary commitment procedures for mental patients. The other area where more articles are required is that of practical "know-how," a sort of do-it-yourself manual for the family physician who has to cope with a wide variety of direct and reactive neurotic conditions in his general practice. Included in this latter type of article would be the provision of information and warning signs which might advise the physician when to consider seeking more specialized psychiatric help elsewhere.

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