Michael P. Weissberg, MD
Murphy, in his classic study, concluded that no "person has contact with [so many] potentially suicidal individuals as does the physician" (1, 2). Murphy believed that the principal site for suicide prevention was the physician's office (1). In Murphy's study, internists were the specialists most commonly consulted by those who killed themselves (1, 2).
It is now generally accepted that more persons with the full range of psychiatric emergencies are seen by non-psychiatrists than by psychiatrists (1-4). Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop emphasized that all physicians have the duty to care for these patients (5). When physicians fail in
Weissberg MP. Emergency Psychiatry: A Critical Educational Omission. Ann Intern Med. ;114:246–247. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-3-246
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(3):246-247.
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