Don Lipsitt

Don Lipsitt
Harvard Medical School --Cambridge Health Alliance · Psychiatry

M.D.

About

108
Publications
3,285
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511
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
97 Citations
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Publications

Publications (108)
Article
This essay addresses the relevance of the concept of "burnout" to concerns about the mental and physical health of today's physicians and those training to join the medical profession. Comparisons are made with the diagnosis of neurasthenia in the 19th century. Social contributors to and the influence of stress on the phenomena in each instance are...
Article
A career in medicine exposes physicians to chronic illness, disability, death and dying, loss, sadness, and grief. It is doubtful, however, that such experiences with patients can match that of the physician’s taking care of his or her own loved one.
Book
This single-authored book, besides covering the history of psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry, also addresses controversies over names of the specialties and their relevance to clinical practice. Contributions from psychology, psychoanalysis, physiology, epidemiology and philsophy are interwoven in the narrative.
Article
The blurred boundaries between illnesses presenting with somatic symptoms confronts both psychiatrists and primary care physicians with one of the most challenging issues in patient care. On a typical day in a general physician’s office, perhaps 50 % or more of the patients with physical complaints will have no definitive explanation for their ailm...
Article
Patients with symptoms that elude medical explanation are a perennial challenge to practicing physicians of all disciplines. Articles appear virtually monthly advising physicians how to care for them. Efforts at postgraduate education have attempted to ameliorate the situation but have shown limited or disappointing results at best. Physicians cont...
Article
To the Editor:Emboldened by Roberts’ superb editorial [1] questioning the paucity of women editors, I am immodestly persuaded to commit to paper my own experience, suggesting that some editors are made and others born. Although mentorship figures prominently in many instances, editorship is frequently, if not always, like so much of one’s life traj...
Article
Few medical educators would dispute that the emotional development and well being of the medical student is of critical importance in the pathway to physicianhood. It has been suggested that failure to address this aspect of medical education may account for various health problems and levels of impairment during medical school and beyond. Some aut...
Article
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Chapter
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On a busy day in a general physician’s office, perhaps 50% or more of the patients with physical complaints will have no definitive explanation for their ailment (Kroenke and Mangelsdorff, 1989). The patients present with distress from fatigue, chest pain, cough, back pain, shortness of breath, and a host of other painful or worrisome bodily concer...
Article
Although somatoform disorders are complex, challenging, and often frustrating, proper management can alleviate distress and suffering, reduce maladaptive behaviors, encourage realistic healthcare utilization, improve functioning, result in cost-effective care, and promote greater satisfaction for both patient and physician. Such management depends...
Article
With the designation of psychosomatic medicine as the seventh certified specialty in U.S. psychiatry, there has been heightened interest in holistic approaches to health care. This is not a new interest, but one that has existed for thousands of years. Before Descartes introduced his philosophic ideas on the separation of mind and body, ancient phy...
Article
Patients who somatize are perhaps the most difficult challenge for the primary care physician. Physicians who are trained essentially in the biomedical model feel ill-equipped to diagnose, manage or treat these patients. In some practices, they may constitute more than 50% of the physician's burden. They also have been shown (by Katon, R. Smith, an...
Article
To the Editor: In suggesting that deep acting can compensate for the deficiency of antecedent essentials like compassion, sensitivity, and insight, Drs Larson and Yao¹ appear to agree with the wag who said, “Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.” Acting methods used in emotional labor, adopted from organizational techniques of business,...
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General hospitals have had an illustrious role in the evolution of psychiatry. They have provided a rich soil for the growth of inpatient psychiatric units, consultation-liaison psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, med-psych units, outpatient psychiatric clinics, emergency services and a whole spectrum of resources for the communities in which they...
Article
Objective: The objectives of this review are 1) to briefly describe the parallel historical developments of consultalion-liaison (C-L) psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine; 2) to analyze the extent to which the literature of C-L psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine relate to each other, given that both fields have evolved simultaneously in the hi...
Article
The objectives of this review are 1) to briefly describe the parallel historical developments of consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine [corrected]; 2) to analyze the extent to which the literature of C-L psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine relate to each other, given that both fields have evolved simultaneously in the h...
Article
Full-text available
Michael Balint was a physician/psychoanalyst who trained in Hungary and emigrated to England in 1939 when Nazi Germany began to dominate Europe. At the Tavistock Clinic, he and his wife met with social workers and physicians around case discussion seminars. With his strong interest in medicine and his curiosity about the patient-physician relations...
Chapter
In another five years, psychiatry will have had approximately a one-hundred year history of trying to reintegrate physical medicine with psychological medicine. If one were to graph the course of this history, one would quickly see the oscillations that Freedman1 called the “to and fro” of trends in psychiatry toward medicalization, demedicalizatio...
Article
Somatizing patients can be frustrating to treat, and their lengthy diagnostic workups represent a huge drain on health care resources. Cure of somatoform disorders is elusive; however, cost-effective, compassionate management is possible through collaboration between primary care physicians and psychiatrists or behavioral health care groups.
Article
Medicine, it seems, is lately in a state of perpetual crisis. Some would attribute the problem, at least in part, to the enduring heritage of Descartes, who imprinted dualistic notions of a separation of mind and body upon medical education and practice. The perspective of psychosomatic medicine has long been hailed as the remedy for flaws in the w...
Article
Medicine, it seems, is lately in a state of perpetual crisis. Some would attribute the problem, at least in part, to the enduring heritage of Descartes, who imprinted dualistic notions of a separation of mind and body upon medical education and practice. The perspective of psychosomatic medicine has long been hailed as the remedy for flaws in the w...
Article
An abiding mystery of the mind-body connection is that it should seem mysterious at all--an indication, perhaps, of how deeply conditioned we have been by "dualism." That doctrine, laid down more than three centuries ago by French philosopher Rene Descartes, sees mind and body as distinct entities, to be treated separately. It became the paradigm f...
Article
The special nature of pain in the face, head, and neck is not emphasized in the psychiatric literature on chronic pain. Although chronic pain of all types and locations share many features the psychological and symbolic significance of the head in the development of self-esteem, body image, and interpersonal relationships often confers special char...
Chapter
At the very outset, in order to frame our discussion in contemporary thought, it is important to reiterate that the scope, content and definition of psychosomatic medicine has changed dramatically since its productive beginnings as a research field in the late 1930’s. Many of the early hypotheses and theories of linear causality--whether arising ou...
Chapter
Hospitals have, through the ages, exerted great attraction upon novelists, playwrights, cinematographers, photographers, and sociologists. The perverse magnetism of human misery and sickness as well as captivation by the struggle to conquer them are attested to by the millions of viewers who daily can be found entranced by the endless episodes of a...
Chapter
These words by the satirist H. L. Mencken were no less inflammatory in 1922 than they are today. They were the product not only of a curmudgeonly journalist but also of the social climate in which they were written. The suggestion that women often were complainers racked with pain was abundantly promoted from the stage by playwrights of the day. To...
Article
This article calls attention to an underemphasized aspect of consultation-liaison psychiatry: the importance of the family in the management of illness response. Recent trends in family dynamics have focused primarily on family therapy and less on the critical role family members play in the "coloration," course, and outcome of acute episodes of il...
Article
To determine if serum prolactin levels were correlated with the level of depression in an ambulatory medical clinic population, prolactin was measured by immunoassay in all new medical patients completing the Langer Scale and the Popoff Index of Depression. Thirty-four of 71 patients (48%) were found to be depressed with a positive Popoff Scale. Th...
Article
Discusses the illness behavior of physicians and the failure of many physicians to obtain adequate medical care for themselves. Issues considered include the psychological hazards of being doctored by friends, confusion between the roles of colleague and patient, and professional courtesy arrangements. Suggestions are made to enable the physician t...
Article
The part that social and emotional life plays in the response to stress and the course of illness has been recognized for ages. But the obstacles to the teaching of a "psychosomatic approach" to health and disease persist. This paper explores briefly the attitudinal, definitional, historical and structural factors which present as problems in attem...
Article
The term hypochondriasis must be considered, in its historical, medical and sociological context, as a label misused extensively – often as an expression of the physician’s frustration, disappointment and anger when faced with an elusive diagnostic problem. Attempts at refinement of definition of terms such as hysteria, conversion reaction, somatiz...
Article
It would appear that psychiatrists trained in psychodynamic and medical approaches are best equipped to evaluate the relevance of drugs to psychotherapy. Psychiatrists working in a general hospital setting should especially consider it their province to study and understand the uses and abuses of pharmacologic agents as they influence all patients,...

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