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The Clinical Work of the Psychiatrist in a Community Mental Health Center
Maxine Springer Stern; James O. Hoover
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Orange-Person-Chatham Mental Health Center Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Federal Correctional Institution Butner, North Carolina

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The difficulties community mental health centers have in recruiting and retaining psychiatrists may be related to the type of clinical work psychiatrists perform in the centers. The authors conducted a study examining how and by whom a sample of 87 clients in one mental health center were treated. The findings showed that the psychiatrists tended to treat older, poorly educated, and more severely disturbed patients. Their patients were more likely to receive drug therapy and less likely to receive individual psychotherapy than were the patients of other staff members. The authors conclude that most psychiatrists find the centers to be unattractive work settings because the work differs from what they were trained to expect, to value, and to perform.

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