Since psychiatric training in medical school is brief in duration (often 4-8 weeks only), and minimal to nonexistent in many residency programs, most primary care physicians are not adequately equipped to treat psychiatric disorders, despite the fact that this role promises a significant portion of the average physician’s practice. This book provides non-psychiatric physicians, especially primary care physicians, with the tools to successfully diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders in their practices. Primary care physicians are the largest prescribers of psychiatric medications in the US, where they also provide the bulk of psychiatric diagnoses and treatment, especially in traditionally underserved areas.
Every chapter is devoted to each of the major psychiatric disorders that a primary care physician is likely to encounter in clinical practice. They are formatted in a nearly identical way to make the text both easy to read and quickly peruse as a reference. Each chapter also includes a clinical description of the disorder, the proper method (including questions to ask, or screening tools, etc.) to make an accurate diagnosis, and differential diagnoses to consider. Additionally, appropriate treatment(s) for the diagnoses are indicated in a stepwise fashion. Chapters also contain information on medical tests that may be appropriate to order to rule out medical conditions, as well as details on proper routine health screening for individuals on specific medications and/or mental health diagnoses.
To optimize accessibility of medication prescribing information, several tables of the medications that are commonly prescribed for each disorder will be indicated. This may lead to some redundancy of information, as there is considerable overlap in medication and dosing strategies for different illnesses, ex antipsychotics for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders. However, duplication of information assists in readability and user friendliness, as doctors will not have to flip through different parts of a book or refer to an appendix every time they wish to look up specific medication related information.
Written by experts in the field, Handbook of Psychiatric Disorders in Adults in the Primary Care Setting is a valuable resource to aid in the proper assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders by the physicians who are most likely to see and treat these patients. Most psychiatric textbooks are probably not appropriate for most primary care physicians as they contain far too much specialized information that they do not need to know and do not often contain clinical steps and guidelines for treatment. This text fulfills a pressing clinical need.