You Might As Well Vote

Voting is on the minds of most of us today because the big presidential election day is tomorrow, although millions have already voted, including me.

This reminds me of my name change poll for choosing a name to replace “Psychosomatic Medicine.” The decision on that may be made at the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) annual meeting, which starts on November 9, 2016 in Austin, Texas. I’m considering closing the poll tomorrow, the overall results of which have not changed much since I started it in May.

In the last 6 months, the opinion of most voters is that “Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry would be the best name.

Most of the names at the top of the poll are historically important in that they were candidates from the last name change project, which didn’t result in any change. And According to the current President of APM, if the regulatory boards don’t like our own choice, again nothing will change.

That figures, since the boards chose the name Psychosomatic Medicine in the first place.

However, I believe that if you read Dr. Don R. Lipsitt’s book, “Foundations of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: The Bumpy Road to Specialization,” especially Sections III and IV, you’ll find a compelling argument for choosing the name “Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.”

Don Lipsitt book FoundationsofCLPsychiatryBumpyRoadtoSpecialization_

A few comments about the candidates are in order, by which I mean the proposed specialty names, not the presidential candidates.

The name Psiquiatria de Conciliacion sounds so similar to consultation psychiatry that I think it should count as a vote for “C-L Psychiatry.”

I suspect the choice “Psychiatry-for-all-the-patients-that-most-psychiatrists-don’t-want-to-work-with” came from colleagues who are in the business.

‘Neuroscience Medicine” got only a few votes, even though the importance of neuroscience for psychiatrists is the theme of this year’s APM meeting. I recently discovered the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI) web site, and I was pretty impressed.

No kidding, I got a very complete answer to my question about eating disorders from NNCI contributor Dr. Carrie McAdams, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

However, I doubt that Dr. Bill Yates’ (my former teacher) recommendation that both psychiatry and neurology specialties be combined in favor of creating a Neuroscience Medicine specialty would fly. It would be politically impossible, in my opinion-like many other issues we’ve seen this election season.

But when you just look at the choices for the names of the medical specialty, there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to pick one or the other.

Funny, that’s how the presidential election strikes me, too.

But you might as well vote. Not easy this time.

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