Letter to the Editor
Identity Question
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 18 page 26-26

In the July 6 issue, Dr. Richard Harding urges new psychiatrists to "resist systems of care that undermine the doctor-patient relationship and give incentives for withholding care" and then asks each one to choose between becoming "a business person or a professional." Good business sense and professionalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if we doctors as a group had been paying better attention to business matters in our profession over the years, we most likely would not be faced today with the types of systems of care to which Dr. Harding refers.

APA President Richard Harding responds:

Dr. Berliner is correct when he says that "good business sense and professionalism are not mutually exclusive." Thank goodness for psychiatrists with business sense who have developed the systems of care from which we and our patients benefit. My point in the "pop quiz" was to ask our residents which one will be their primary identity? My rank order would be professional, patient advocate, and business person. These are not mutually exclusive traits but, rather, complimentary ones.

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