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Adolf Meyer lecture the future of psychiatry-A Hobson's choice?


It is true that, in a cosmic sense, there is nothing new under the sun. What I have said here today may have been said before by other psychiatrists and behavioral scientists. The principles that Adolf Meyer delineated and designated as those of “objective psychobiology” include: the need for factual observation, validation by accurate prediction, and the testing of reliable methods of intervention. These essentials are as vital today as when they were first set forth by Dr. Meyer (14, 15). Advances in science, as well as the improvement of psychiatric services, are the result of: more accurate definitions; refinement and recognition of the significance of observations; and the meaningful integration of many parts and processes. The future of psychiatry is linked with our willingness to re-examine our beliefs and our activities, to re-order our skills and our responsibilities, and to engage in a continual evaluation of our therapeutic efforts. If we are willing to do these things promptly and efficiently, then there will be no Hobson's choice in the future of psychiatry. Instead, we will be in a position to make the sort of choice that will be most likely to reduce the massive problem of mental illness and thereby contribute to the lives of all of humanity.

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Busse, E.W. Adolf Meyer lecture the future of psychiatry-A Hobson's choice?. Psych Quar 46, 329–342 (1972).

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  • Public Health
  • Mental Illness
  • Reliable Method
  • Accurate Prediction
  • Behavioral Scientist