Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Common cause

Apparently kissing ass is easier than I thought. I got on Dr. Jerk's good side this afternoon, and all I had to do was mention a group of people that he hates more than he hates me: Psychiatrists.

There's a lot of tension between psychiatrists and psychologists. In the M.D. pecking order, psychiatrists are pretty much at the bottom. But in the mental hospital, they're at the top of the food chain, and they love to lord it over the psychologists.

In a very revealing survey, psychiatrists and psychologists were asked to evaluate their relative competence at 11 tasks -- including assessment, treatment, and program administration -- performed by mental health professionals. Psychiatrists thought they were better at 8 of the tasks; equally competent at 2, including testifying as expert witnesses in court; and worse only at administering psychological tests, which they are not trained to do. Psychologists thought they were better at 9 of the tasks, equally competent at testifying in court, and worse only at managing medication.

So there's a lot of resentment among psychologists at psychiatrists. Dr. Jerk is no exception.

We've been learning about classification of mental disorders. The basic "bible" in the U.S. for psychiatric diagnosis is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, aka the DSM. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, it's unreliable, unwieldy, and very very flawed.

So I "innocently" asked Dr. Jerk, "Why do we let the psychiatrists write the manual? Why doesn't the American Psychological Association do it?"

And he was off -- ranting that the APsychiatricA is part of the American Medical Association and thus has access to much more funding than the APsychologicalA, that psychiatrists are wined and dined and seduced by Big Pharma... on and on. He actually smiled at me! After class, when I had a question about our first term paper, he was pleasant!

So it wasn't my rack, fine as it is. And it wasn't kissing his ass. It was deflecting his antipathy toward me at someone or something else.

Not a bad day at work.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Brava! Good work! :-D

  2. Anonymousless9/21/2006 9:07 AM

    Oi, that's bloody brilliant! And by the way, bitter and bombastic though he may be, Dr. Jerk is right. Big Pharma does pay for fancy dinners, trips, whores, and other gifts so psychiatrists will evaluate and prescribe certain meds over others. Everybody wins, right? Except the patient.