Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Proof of Evolution

This is a short documentary about the psychopharmacologist.

The psychiatrist (lt. shockus electricus) is an endangered species. The environmental mechanism of their demise is still unknown. While there has been some efforts to save this animal, their numbers continue to dwindle. However, a new species seems to have evolved from the psychiatrist. This new creature is called the psychopharmacologist (lt. prescribus pillus). While psychiatrists are scattered through the North American continent and still appear to be thriving in some parts of Europe; psychopharmacologists have developed large breeding populations around the coastal cities, as they seem to thrive in urban environments.

Seriously, psychopharmacologists are the only mainstream doctors (I'm lying, that's actually not true; see comments) whose title reflects how they treat (i.e., drugs) instead of what they treat (i.e., mental illness). An endocrinologist does not prescribe endocrines to patients. An immunologist is someone who studies the immune system. Psychopharmology on the other hand, is the study of drug-induced changes in mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior. That is quite different from psychiatry, which studies how to prevent and treat mental illnesses. At least the title "psychopharmacologist" tells us where their interests lie (it's in the drugs, not the patients).

2 comments:

keeping them honest said...

"Seriously, psychopharmacologists are the only mainstream doctors whose title reflects how they treat (i.e., drugs) instead of what they treat (i.e., mental illness). An endocrinologist does not prescribe endocrines to patients."

Straw man. A neurosurgeon's title reflects how she treats, not what she treats.

And both the neurosurgeon and the psychopharmacologist do something called a clinical interview and examination before launching into an intervention, surgical or pharmacological.

NeuroPsych15 said...

keeping them honest: Valid point. Thank you, I enjoy eating crow, taste like chicken.

As for the clinical interview part, I never said (or intented to imply) that such parts of a normal evaluation aren't done. The point I was trying to communicate (although pretty poorly) was that there is a change in semantics within the profession, a change that I believe is not in the best interests of the profession (psychiatry & psychology). Perhaps I should have just said that?