I didn’t get a chance to make it to the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) meeting in Austin earlier this month but I’m excited about the news I just received about the name change poll. Great news! We’re changing the name of our specialty from Psychosomatic Medicine to…Ergasiology!
No, I’m just kidding. Most specialists in my field call it Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. The leading names are Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (193), Psychosomatic Medicine (61), Consultation Psychiatry (26), and Medical Psychiatry (17), with the remainder divided among 10 others.
There isn’t a final decision yet. However, it turns out that “Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry” was the preferred name for the field by a wide margin of votes. The leading choices were Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (118), Medical Psychiatry (70), Psychosomatic Medicine (33), and Consultation Psychiatry (22), with the remainder divided among 19 others. I can point out for posterity that my informal survey results also demonstrated a preference for C-L Psychiatry.
The APM Council supports the change and, preliminarily, so does the American Psychiatric Association (APA) CEO and Medical Director. Now there’s a third survey of APM members and it’s quite simple: Change to C-L Psychiatry or keep Psychosomatic Medicine. What, are they kidding? I guess this is for all the marbles.
Even more ground-breaking, if there’s consensus on changing the name to C-L Psychiatry, the name of the APM would also change, although the exact name would be determined later.
You know how I voted. Remember, the same caveat applies, which is that “other key national organizations” have to favor the change, although APA support is a good sign.
Remember Dr. Don R. Lipsitt’s quote from his book “Foundations of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: The Bumpy Road to Specialization”:
“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.
I suppose I should start another poll myself.