Robert M. McCarron, DO
This article was published at www.annals.org on 23 July 2013.
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M13-1436.
Requests for Single Reprints: Robert M. McCarron, DO, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 2230 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95817; e-mail, email@example.com.
Author Contributions: Administrative, technical, or logistic support: R.M. McCarron.
McCarron R.; The DSM-5 and the Art of Medicine: Certainly Uncertain. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:360-361. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-7-201310010-00688
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(5):360-361.
The recently published Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) (1), is regarded as the primary source of information for psychiatric diagnostic criteria. Criticisms of the new edition have centered on the relative lack of scientific evidence for specific diagnostic classifications and unclear boundaries between true “illness” and the normal stresses of life. These concerns are valid and will always be part of the practice of medicine.
Diagnostic uncertainties are not specific to the field of psychiatry. For example, what causes fibromyalgia? Do current diagnostic criteria reliably represent patients who have this disorder? Why do people get idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or multiple sclerosis? What is the best way to reliably assess the severity of chronic pain?
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