This is a “handbook,” meant to be both easily accessible and practical and intended to convey information to assist the practitioner in “how to do” psychiatric consultations on medical/surgical patients in both hospital and ambulatory clinical settings. The handbook is intended for residents in Psychiatry who are learning how to do psychiatric consultations on patients who are medically ill and hospitalized in medical and surgical settings. It is my hope that Fellows in Psychosomatic Medicine/Consultation Psychiatry and medical students doing their clerkships on psychiatry consultation services will also find it helpful.
This is not meant to be a textbook, nor does it have any pretensions of being so. Unlike a textbook, it will not provide a summary of the relevant knowledge related to a specific topic, but will instead discuss how to understand a particular clinical issue and how to use that understanding to develop an effective clinical intervention to help the patient and the clinical team caring for the patient. The knowledge base that supports those conceptualizations and interventions will be selectively summarized and, in a limited fashion, referenced.