National Alliance on Mental Illness
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The Doctor-Patient Relationship in Pharmacotherapy--Improving Treatment Effectiveness

by Allan Tasman, M.D., Michelle B. Riba, M.D., and Kenneth R. Silk, M.D

The Guilford Press, 2000. 182 pages. Hardcover: $30.00
Review by William Zaccagnino and James L. Secor, NAMI Literature Committee

Tasman, Riba, and Silk's book would be a useful addition to the libraries of psychiatrists and other physicians and mental health professionals. It is important to note that the book can be perceived as an abdication to the changing nature of health care that has been restructured under the label of managed care, or, alternatively, as a road map to working within the structure, imperfect as it may be.

Regardless of the reader's perspective, he or she will recognize that the changed nature of health care is a backdrop to the discussion.

The authors' purpose is to provide professionals with an understanding of their roles, depending on whether they are providing medication or psychotherapeutic support for the client. Recognizing the limitations that the health maintenance organization mentality has cast upon American society, the authors provide a model for treatment providers working within the typical 15-minute allocations of time per patient. They emphasize how important it is for professionals to use this time effectively-especially when they might be tempted to assume that it simply isn't enough time. High-quality treatment, both in medication monitoring and in psychotherapy, must remain the goal of these professionals. The doctor-patient relationship needs to include cultivated trust, honesty, and collaboration for treatment to be successful.