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Psychiatr Serv. 1998 Sep;49(9):1197-202.

Guidelines for prescribing psychiatrists in consultative, collaborative, and supervisory relationships.

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  • 1McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02178, USA.


Most psychiatrists enter into a variety of professional relationships with other clinicians in which they prescribe medications or make recommendations about pharmacotherapy. This paper describes a set of guidelines for prescribing psychiatrists involved in consultation, collaboration, and supervision with other clinicians. The guidelines were developed by psychiatrists for the Harvard Risk Management Foundation. The terms consultation, collaboration, and supervision are defined, and the psychiatrist's roles and responsibilities in each type of arrangement are described. The guidelines limit consultation and collaboration to relationships with professionals who are licensed or credentialed. Based on the definitions, the paper describes a structure for working with other clinicians, which begins with a thorough assessment of the context and circumstances of the clinical situation. The guidelines strongly encourage structured communication among clinicians and with the patient and significant others, as well as clarification by clinicians of their respective responsibilities for treatment and follow-up.

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