Tag: practice

Reading of the Week: RCTs & Mental Health – the New CJP Paper; Also, AI and Discharge Summaries (Lancet DH), and Mehler Paperny on Action (Globe)

From the Editor

How has psychiatric research changed over time?

In the first selection, Sheng Chen (of CAMH) and co-authors attempt to answer this question by focusing on randomized controlled trials in mental health in a new paper for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Using the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, they look at almost 6,700 RCTs published over the past decades. They find: “the number of mental health RCTs increased exponentially from 1965 to 2009, reaching a peak in the years 2005–2009,” and observe a shift away from pharmacologic studies.

RCTs: the gold standard of research

In the second selection, Sajan B. Patel (of St Mary’s Hospital) et al. consider ChatGPT and health care in a new Lancet Digital Health Comment. Noting that discharge summaries tend to be under-prioritized, they wonder if this AI program may help in the future, freeing doctor to do other things. “The question for the future will be how, not if, we adopt this technology.”

And in the third selection, writer Anna Mehler Paperny focuses on campaigns to reduce stigma in a hard-hitting essay for The Globe and Mail. She argues that action is urgently needed to address mental health problems. She writes: “We need more than feel-good bromides. Every time someone prominent utters something about how important mental health is, the follow should be: So what? What are you doing about it? And when?”


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Reading of the Week: How to Think about Practice Today – And Tomorrow? A New CJP Paper, a Podcast, and a Report

From the Editor

How do we practice today – and how will we practice in the future?

This week’s Reading includes three selections.

In the first selection, we consider how we practice today, with a new paper by University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s David Rudoler and his co-authors. Drawing on administrative data, they look for practice patterns, finding three distinct ones. Spoiler alert: practice patterns are very different, with 30% of psychiatrists seeing just two or fewer patients per month.

Then, we look ahead. In the second selection, we consider a new podcast discussing digital psychiatry. I talk with Dr. John Torous of the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. And, yes, he has tips on good apps for your patients.

Finally, in the third selection, we consider the recent Ontario government report on ending hallway medicine. The authors look to the future, and make several suggestions, including embracing the potential of digital health care.

messaging-appsApps – the future?



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Reading of the Week: “The Name of the Dog” – Dr. Tafder’s Excellent NEJM Paper & More

From the Editor

There is something often dehumanizing about the health-care experience – the way patients can be reduced to medical-record numbers, the way lives can be summarized in disease names and a few demographic details (“a 30 year old woman with schizophrenia”).

This week, we consider two essays that are about people who happen to be patients – and the lessons that our colleagues have drawn from their stories.

In the first selection, we look at a paper written by Dr. Taimur Safder that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It’s about the name of a dog – and much more. During his training, Dr. Safder presents the case of a person who develops chest pain when walking his dog. When the supervisor asks the name of the dog, the physician isn’t sure. “Four years later, I’m not sure anything I’ve carried from residency has been more useful than that question.”

dy_wosjwsamveozNo, this Reading isn’t really about dogs

And, in the second selection, we consider a short essay by Dr. Lee Lu. The Texas doctor describes her experiences working with a patient with substance use problems – and wrestling with her own biases.

Finally, returning to the topic of cannabis legalization, we consider some responses to last week’s Reading, and a CMAJ editorial on the topic.


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Reading of the Week: Kurdyak’s New Paper on Access

From the Editor

As medical school classes have grown, the supply of physicians has increased across the country. Has this helped address access issues in psychiatry?

How have practice patterns changed over time?

This week’s Reading seeks to answer some basic and important questions around physician supply and access in psychiatry. Following up on a major paper written in 2014, Kurdyak et al. have written another important and relevant paper.

The long and the short of it: there are significant problems with access – and they aren’t getting any better with time.

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