Excellence is not a skill…


“Psychosomatic medicine and C-L psychiatry have traveled pari passu in a kind of symbiosis through the decades in more-or-less uncomfortable relationship to one another. But since the first identifiable C-L paper of George Henry preceded in 1929 the foundation of American psychosomatic medicine (1939), it seems proper to say that C-L psychiatry did not spring from psychosomatic medicine but may only have been enhanced by it in later years. Whatever their relative sequential developmental histories, there is little doubt that they are related.”—Don R. Lipsitt in Foundations of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: The Bumpy Road to Specialization.

…Just in!

Dr. Jenny Lind Porter in 2014

Farewell Casa Magni

I just finished watching a couple of video events tonight and it was just plain luck that they were broadcast one right after the other. One was the first presidential candidate debate at Hofstra University in New York. It definitely had the “Let’s get ready to rumble” hype ahead of it. You can decide if […]


ABPN MOC Delirium PIP Finally A Real Thing. Yeesssssss.

Remember that Maintenance of Certification Delirium Performance in Practice (PIP) tool? It’s a real thing now. It was approved about a year ago and it has finally been published on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) website. One of our top residents, Dr. Emily Morse, D.O., helped me put this thing together. Yes, […]


Work As Long As You Can?

Probably most people in my field are aware of a couple of papers on aging recently published (see references below). Maybe I should say “most people my age” are aware of them. Aging is on my mind as I approach retirement and it seems to be uppermost in the collective consciousness. Just look at the […]


International Talk Like a Pirate Day…Matey

Avast, thar, ’tis International Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day, even fer consultin’ psychiatrists! No kidding, September 19, is the official day for talking like a pirate. In honor of it, I’m going to talk like a pirate, although a little of that goes a long way so I’ll try to tone it down some. […]


Mulch, Machines, And Mayhem

It’s about 76 degrees and a few wispy clouds, maybe a little humid for mulch labor, but what the heck. I mentioned mulch slinging as maybe being a job for me this weekend and my friend and colleague, Dr. George Dawson, left some cryptic messages about it on my post yesterday. George is looking out […]


May The Mulch Be With You

A few little items today. Well, I see from the pile of mulch bags in the garage that my weekend is pretty much taken care of.   And just a quick look at the name change poll to make sure there are no big surprises: Nope, no surprises. The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) newsletter […]


A Plan For Turning The Tide Of The Opioid Epidemic

In keeping with the “Turn the Tide” approach to promote responsibility by doctors and patients alike regarding reducing the harms from the opioid epidemic, my former teacher, Dr. Bill Yates, wrote an excellent post on the subject recently: Opioid Abuse: Treatment Guidelines https://t.co/1MNYF2I7Bs Another great post on opioid management with a link to a helpful NEJM […]


The Opioid Epidemic And How to “Turn the Tide”

I learned a great deal from Dr. George Dawson’s recent post on the letter he received from the Surgeon General about how doctors can help “turn the tide” on the opioid epidemic. George and I are both psychiatrists but I didn’t get a letter from the Surgeon General. That’s probably because I’m not an addiction […]


CPCP: Clozapine and Bowel Obstruction by A Medical Student

Comin’ at ya with another great Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) presentation by a stellar medical student, Mark Bevill. This one is on a very important complication of clozapine treatment, constipation, which can lead to potentially life-threatening bowel obstruction. This is another one of those clozapine adverse events for which there is no specific […]


Music Therapy and Dementia

I was alerted to a story in one of our local newspapers about a study of music therapy in patients with dementia. The researchers are here at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: Dr. Daniel Tranel, PhD and Alaine Reschke-Hernandez, both in the Neurology Department. The study measures participants’ moods and feelings before and after […]

Stone Lookout Tower Castle Clinton

Laborless Day Adventure

Leading up to this Labor Day weekend, believe it or not I actually half-intended to do some work-related stuff such as spiff up a powerpoint presentation or two. Much to my amazement, I have not even opened up my office email or the hospital electronic health record, Epic, (pause for teeth-gnashing here) so far. This […]

Group Pic CL Psych Service Aug 25 2016 framed

Getting Small: Remember Humility

Another rotation of residents and medical students has come and gone and it’s on to the next one. But occasionally I like to reflect on what the trainees have done and publicly thank them for their hard work. I was once where they are. We chase around the hospital like a movable feast. We ran […]


CPCP: Clozapine-Induced Myocarditis by A Medical Student

This is an outstanding Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) presentation on clozapine-induced myocarditis by medical student Ben Kopp, who is planning a residency in orthopedic surgery. There is a push to utilize clozapine for treatment-resistant schizophrenia, with which I have no argument. According Newman et all in the August 2016 issue of Current Psychiatry […]


The Mystery of Change: “Harlem Is Everywhere We Are”

My wife, Sena, brought to my attention the recent effort to save the Harlem home of poet Langston Hughes, which looks like it may be successful. Sena said it reminded her of what is happening to Dr. Jenny Lind Porter’s house. There are parallels. In some of the articles, Hughe’s home is described as “dilapidated” […]


CPCP: Valproate Hyperammonemic Encephalopathy by A Medical Student

Today we got an excellent Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) presentation from medical student Jessica Woelfel, who is planning a residency in emergency medicine. It’s about valproate-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy (VHE). This is a rare adverse event of Depakote, which is an anticonvulsant used in treating epilepsy and bipolar disorder. While it should be needless […]

CL Psych Books

C-L Psychiatry: History Repeating Itself

As you know, I’ve been reading Don R. Lipsitt’s book, “Foundations of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: The Bumpy Road to Specialization.” It’s a fascinating and illuminating history of the specialty. Not everyone was pleased with the idea of making C-L Psychiatry a subspecialty, as Don points out in Section III: The Process of Specialty Recognition: Prelude to […]


CPCP: An Update: Buprenorphine vs Methadone in Pregnancy by A Medical Student

One of our senior medical students rotating on the psychiatry consultation service delivered an outstanding Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) presentation updating a previous medical student CPCP review on buprenorphine vs methadone in managing opiate addiction in pregnancy. The literature supports using buprenorphine overall; however, concerns remain about the risk for relapse to opiate […]


Out For A Walk

I walked a fair distance this last Thursday in the hospital. It was an average day. It made me a wonder what I’m going to do to stay in shape when I retire (something on my mind a lot these days.) Therefore, Sena and I went for a walk today. The plan was to eventually […]

Dr. Janus Amos 3 fixed

The Practical C-L Psychiatrist

It was a busy day at work and I’m just now getting to this post, which I think I should do tonight. By now you’ve noticed that my blog site title has been changed from “The Practical Psychosomaticist” to “The Practical C-L Psychiatrist.” For those of you who aren’t in the know, C-L stands for […]

Guest starring the mascots, https://thepracticalpsychosomaticist.com/2016/02/27/new-mascots-again/

Remember Dr. Jenny Lind Porter…Go Have Another Adventure

Sena and I were talking about my former teacher. Dr. Jenny Lind Porter and the situation about her Casa Magni, the home she lived in for decades and now is the center of a controversy over whether to tear it down or restore it. Jenny Lind Porter home wins stay of demolition – Austin Monitor […]

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What Psychiatrists Need to Know About Cardiac Devices: see slide 20 for quick tips on EKG measurements

GRECC Videos

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Delirium, Quiet and Excited

Coming at you with another one of those pristine videos from the VA GRECC, and this one is about hypoactive and hyperactive delirium. This is an incredibly well-crafted educational resource and I thank Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD for giving permission to post it. This is Delirium: Quiet and Excited, an educational video from the Department […]

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Dementia with Agitation

This is one of those high-quality videos I posted about earlier, Spectacular Educational Videos by Department of Veterans Affairs « The Practical Psychosomaticist: James Amos, M.D. and which Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD gave permission to post. This is Dementia with Agitation, an educational video from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers […]

Dr. Joseph Flaherty, MD

“TADA!” Tolerate, Anticipate, Don’t Agitate

“T-A-DA”stands for Tolerate behaviors that are challenging, but not dangerous; Anticipate needs of patients who are unable to communicate their needs; and Don’t Agitate patients who are cognitively incapable of processing the reasons why caregivers want to provide care for them which might be misunderstood. It’s taken from a paper written by Dr. Joseph Flaherty […]

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Agitation in the Hospitalized Older Patient

This is another one of those high-quality videos I posted about earlier, Spectacular Educational Videos by Department of Veterans Affairs « The Practical Psychosomaticist: James Amos, M.D. and which Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD gave permission to post. This is Agitated Behaviors in Older Hospitalized Patients, an educational video from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Geriatric Research […]

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James Amos, MD

Jim Amos

Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

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