Talk Isn't as Cheap as Drugs

This article in today's NY Times has generated considerable discussion.

Here's my take:

  • 39 patients in a day: too many for me
  • Dr. Levin has a right to practice as he chooses
  • Dr. Levin's wife's role counts. She's appears to do things many psychiatrists would incorporate into their own roles. This makes the 39 patient count more reasonable.
  • Dr. Levin must be doing something right to attract so many patients.
  • Dr. Levin may be a lot better at psychopharmacotherapy now that he is doing so much of it.
  • Dr. Levin needs to get a... blog. Or maybe tweets would suit his practice better.
  • Sometimes 15' is more than enough time.
  • Sometimes 50' is not enough time.
  • Dr. Levin should have told his drinking patient to stop, if only because of potential interaction with prescribed drugs, and recommended appropriate help if needed. He could even have prescribed a drug to help him stop drinking.
  • Many patients just don't want psychotherapy and shouldn't be forced into it.
It's not all about the money:
  • Dr. Levin's patients get to choose their psychotherapist. They are not stuck with him.
  • Dr. Levin's patients can get the type of psychotherapy best suited to their diagnosis, not just the kind that he happens to practice.
  • Dr. Levin's patients don't have to get psychotherapy at all unless they want it.
  • Dr. Levin's patients get to start and stop psychotherapy independently of medication.
  • Dr. Levin's patients get to start and stop medication independently of psychotherapy.
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