In response to a questionnaire regarding the frequency and type of
psychiatric disorders among their patients, internists and surgeons in
private practice estimated that 21.1% of their patients had psychiatric
problems, that 14.6% would benefit from psychiatric treatment, and that
they spent an average of 17.3% of their time treating psychiatric problems.
They also stated that depression was the most frequent psychiatric disorder
among their patients. More than half of the internists indicated they would
treat depression, anxiety attacks, psychosomatic disorders, and organic
brain disorders, which may be one explanation for the observation that more
medical and surgical patients have psychiatric disorders than are referred
to a psychiatrist.