I thank Dr. Nasrallah for his November editorial (“Psychiatry’s ‘swords of Damocles,’” Current Psychiatry, November 2012, p. 4-5; http://bit.ly/1HY7Y33). The major problem is not the quality of patient care. We are no longer therapists; instead, we prescribe medications and see patients once a month for 15 minutes, while social workers and psychologists handle the interaction. Where is the president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in advocating for psychiatrists?
Also, psychiatrists can’t earn a decent living providing therapy to patients who are on insurance plans. I was struck by Edward M. Kennedy, Jr.’s lecture at the APA’s annual meeting in May. He spoke of psychiatrists as sacrificing for the good of humanity, meaning we earn far too little. I found that condescending.
I hope you can help in turning this dismal situation around.
Ruth Cohen, MD
New York, NY