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Book Review   |    
Shrinking Time for Health Administrators: Father-Daughter Psychiatrists Discuss Time Management
Lucy D. Ozarin, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2000; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.51.6.824-a
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by Walter E. Barton, M.D., and Gail M. Barton, M.D., M.P.H.; Pittsburgh, Dorrance Publishing Company, 1999, 98 pages, $9 softcover

William Bryan (1), who was a superintendent of Worcester (Mass.) State Hospital, published the first book on administrative psychiatry in 1936. Walter Barton (2), Bryan's student, published the second in 1962. Since then, he, often with his daughter, psychiatrist Gail Barton, has published widely on various aspects of the subject.

Shrinking Time for Health Administrators is the last book the Bartons coauthored before Walter Barton's death in 1999, at the age of 93. Both Bartons combine their experiences of many years as teachers, clinicians, administrators, and family members to present what they have learned about how to deal with the perennial question of "Where did the time go"?

The 11 short chapters draw on ten pages of relevant references and include examples of the Bartons' own experiences in dealing with shrinking time. Among the chapter titles are "Time to Think," "Time Wasters," "Saving Time," "Overworking Time," and "Time to Relax." Where appropriate, the chapters offer lists to show how to save time, and each chapter ends with a summary list of the points made. An interesting illustration is the cost in 1994 of an hour's time for a staff meeting of professionals: $2,086.

Although the monograph deals mainly with the administrator's work situation, much attention is given to the need for personal time to relax, to spend time with family, and to avoid burnout. The final chapter, "Time Alone," includes Walter Barton's personal reminiscence of how it feels to grow old. He did not like it, but found support in family and friends.

The Bartons' experiences from years spent as psychiatric administrators have been compressed into a book that can be read with pleasure in an hour.

Dr. Ozarin is a retired medical director for the U.S. Public Health Service. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bryan W: Administrative Psychiatry. New York, Norton, 1936
Barton WE: Administration in Psychiatry. Springfield, Ill, Thomas, 1962


Bryan W: Administrative Psychiatry. New York, Norton, 1936
Barton WE: Administration in Psychiatry. Springfield, Ill, Thomas, 1962

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