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Letter to the Editor   |    
Kandel’s Challenge to Psychoanalysts
LEO H. BERMAN, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 1999;156:664-664.
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To the Editor: In his excellent article, "A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry," Eric R. Kandel, M.D., raises disquieting issues for today’s practicing psychiatrist. He calls attention to the need for imparting knowledge about the newest advances in the biological aspects of mental illness. Fortunately, he also recognizes the necessity of the psychosocial skills as well. He did not fall into the trap of advocating for the brain at the expense of the mind.

However, he did not present a solution for the problems he raised. Where is the practicing psychiatrist to get the training and education that is so necessary? We have to think not only of the young medical students or psychiatrists in training. But what of those out in the field? Books, articles, and lectures cannot fulfill the need for advanced training in neuroanatomy, molecular biology, genetics, and psychopharmacology. It seems to me that only medical schools can undertake the task of postgraduate education, and sadly, this does not seem to be perceived either as a primary task or as a secondary one.

I hope that Dr. Kandel’s article can stimulate efforts to deal with the problem.

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