• Frederick Sierles


Medical students and physicians are bombarded with claims, conclusions, and generalizations about research, clinical diagnoses, and treatments. Because people tend to trust what they see in print, medical students or physicians may accept these conclusions at face value. This is sometimes a mistake, as many conclusions, upon which many diagnoses and treatments are based, are incorrect. The consequences for the health of many patients can be disastrous. One example is the overdiagnosis of schizophrenia in the United States (described by Rosenhan [1] and Taylor and Abrams [2]), and the consequent mismedication of healthy, depressed, or manic patients with neuroleptic drugs.


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  1. 1.
    Rosenhan, D. On being sane in insane places. Science 179: 250–258 (1973).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Taylor, M., and Abrams, R. The phenomenology of mania. A new look at some old patients. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 29: 520–522 (1973).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Friedman, G. A Primer of Epidemiology. McGraw-Hill, New York (1974).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sainsbury, P., and Kreitman, N. Methods of Psychiatric Research. Oxford, London (1975).Google Scholar

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© Spectrum Publications 1982

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  • Frederick Sierles

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