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Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at the Crossroads: In Search of a Definition for the 1980s
Robert O. Pasnau
Psychiatric Services 1982; doi:
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Neuropsychiatric Institute University of California, Los Angeles

The American Psychiatric Association

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Consultation-liaison prychiatry did not emerge as a prominent psychiatric subspecialty until the remedicalization of the psychiatric profession in the 1970s. The author traces the history of consultation-liaison and discusses the various definitions of the subspecialty. He outlines how consultation-liaison psychiatrists work ingeneral hospitals and medical school departments of psychiatry. The future of consultation-liaison psychiatry, the author says, depends on developments in four areas: psychosomatic research, behavioral medicine, holistic health care, and general hospital psychiatty. To ensure a bright future for the subspecialty, consultation-liaison psychiatrists must meet fiscal, research, and political challenges, make peace with other behavioral scientists, develop close relations with the nursing profession, enjoy the support of medical school departments of psychiatty, and transform the consultation model into a comprehensive consultation-liaison model.

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