George Makari, professor of psychiatry and director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute for the
History of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College (NYC), has published an article in the New York Times about the intricacies of being both a psychiatrist and a historian of psychiatry. Entitled “Notes From Psychiatry’s Battle Lines“, the article begins thus:
I have two offices, one for answers and another for questions. As a clinical psychiatrist, I begin my day in a room filled with soothing art and soft leather chairs, where my pharmaceutical prescriptions and psychological interventions are intended to meet the pressing needs of my patients. Here, I’m supposed to have answers, or at least that’s the hope.
Then, at some point near noon, I descend 12 floors, cross a cobblestone drive, pass into an old granite building and settle into a cubicle that overlooks Manhattan’s East River. Here, by a blackboard filled with arrows, scribbles and circles, and surrounded by hundreds of color-coded files and books, I do my work as a historian of psychiatry. It now becomes my job to critically pick apart the assumptions and beliefs of my own practice, my own field.
To read the full article, click here.
Dr. Makari is the author of the recent Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind. Our readers will also recall that he contributed to the “How I Became an Historian of Psychiatry” series in 2013.