The Extraction of the Stone of Madness, a painting by Hieronymus Bosch in 1494 (displayed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid)
“Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little,
to cure diseases of which they know less,
in human beings of whom they know nothing."
"The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
My name is Scott Zentner, aka "Doctor Z" to my patients. I'm a board-certified psychiatrist in Monroe, Louisiana, which also happens to be my hometown.
Why am I here? Quite frankly, to offer a little common sense and balance to what are largely philosophical debates over the causes and cures of various mental health problems. It's my view that these unresolved squabbles have divided the psychiatric profession into polarized camps, with historically a psychoanalytical or neurobiological bias dominating in alternating fashion. Though Psychiatry has made valuable contributions to society, it's also endured a number of embarrassments--perhaps influenced by the unsound practice patterns that have arisen from its internal disputes. To make mention of one notable example, we have yet to overcome our infamy from past inappropriate usage of shock therapy. One of the more worrisome recent trends is the tendency of some of my colleagues to quickly label their patients with dubious mental illnesses and limit their treatment interventions to a 5 second prescription (a far cry from the "50 minute hour"). Many factors are responsible for this practice shift, namely pseudoscientific dogma and the almighty dollar!
Before pontificating any further, I suppose some type of disclaimer is in order: While this site is primarily intended for consumption (or emesis) by fellow brethren, some aspects may be appealing to the lay reader. However, if you're in the latter category and seeking help, I suggest that you first contact a reputable professional in your community for consultation in lieu of relying on this site for personal guidance.
Now then, what can you expect from me? Periodically, I'll write a column about a particularly controversial psychiatric diagnosis, with my insights regarding evaluation and treatment issues. Occasionally, I may also offer commentary about a subject peripherally related to psychiatry, or throw in a mind teaser or two for boredom relief. Finally, I've added some of my favorite mental health links, which I think you'll find both informative and humorous.
In closing, my goal is that this gathering place will allow us an opportunity to share clinical experiences and ideas, through candid discussion, that will serve to lessen rather than enhance the contentiousness that exists in psychiatry today. I welcome your comments.
Dr. Z enjoying a glass of rosé in Nice, France-2016
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