Medical professionalism vs commercialism

The history of American medicine is the story of the rise and fall of a professional guild. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, physicians distinguished themselves from other healers by banding together to form professional associations dedicated to science-based practice. Even more important, medical ethics put the patient first, above considerations of personal gain […]

Psychotherapy branding and marketing

I just read a mildly disturbing article in the New York Times called “What Brand Is Your Therapist?” The author Lori Gottlieb was a full-time journalist who took six years to retrain as a psychotherapist — her website, but not the article, says she has a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Yet she found herself […]

Movie review: "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare"

The independent documentary Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke is a thoughtful indictment of the status quo. Instead of focusing on political polarization, the pros and cons of Obamacare for instance, the film mainly documents the absurdity and waste of what we have now. Instead of a […]

The commodification of psychiatry

Several recent articles, blogs, and even my participation in HealthTap (discussed in my last two posts) have led me to think about how psychiatry, and mental health treatment generally, are increasingly viewed as commodities. In the language of economics, a commodity is a physical good, such as food, grain, or metal, which is interchangeable with […]