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Entering Private Practice: A Handbook for Psychiatrists
Am J Psychiatry 2007;164:532-532.
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edited by Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. Arlington, Va., American Psychiatric Publishing, 2005, 192 pp. $36.95.

This is a valuable book for those contemplating psychiatric private practice, especially for those who have been shielded from the business aspects of psychiatric practice. The book guides one through the checklists and areas to consider along the way. It is filled with sample lists, forms, and questionnaires to use as a reference tool. Key areas such as office setup and design, marketing, and record keeping are covered. Furthermore, informative sections on collaboration with primary care physicians and use of websites for referral base are discussed. The book also tackles material on the most common legal issues encountered in private practice and ways to maneuver through, as well as a discussion of ethical issues in private practice, with clear vignettes that illustrate dilemmas encountered in everyday practice.

The few pages on addressing the challenges of managed care are slim however, especially in view of the author"s vast knowledge about the workings of managed care. For example, how to appeal an adverse managed care decision is barely mentioned.

After reading the many things suggested in this book to achieve an adequate private practice, one may feel overwhelmed. The editor reassures, however, that “I myself have been able to continue an active private practice, teach residents, volunteer for a free clinic, write, and be actively involved in organized psychiatry and medicine”(p. 5). Dr. Lazarus forgot to add that he has also been very busy with a family, has time to train to compete in triathlons, and his achievements in organized medicine at the AMA are without parallel for a psychiatrist. Let"s hope his next book tells us how he does it all.

For many a patient, private practice offers the best potential for ideal care and treatment. This book helps the practitioner achieve the ideal.




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