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Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Jun;140(6):760-3.

Psychiatric components of medical and surgical practice, II: Referral and treatment of psychiatric disorders.


In response to a questionnaire regarding the frequency and type of psychiatric disorders among their patients, internists and surgeons in private practice estimated that 21.1% of their patients had psychiatric problems, that 14.6% would benefit from psychiatric treatment, and that they spent an average of 17.3% of their time treating psychiatric problems. They also stated that depression was the most frequent psychiatric disorder among their patients. More than half of the internists indicated they would treat depression, anxiety attacks, psychosomatic disorders, and organic brain disorders, which may be one explanation for the observation that more medical and surgical patients have psychiatric disorders than are referred to a psychiatrist.

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