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REVIEW
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-66

A history of psychiatry in the United States of America


Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Riverside, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Gerald A Maguire
No. 14350, Meridian Parkway, Riverside, CA 92508
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/TPSY.TPSY_12_20

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Objectives: In this general review, we provide a timeline of how psychiatry in the United States of America has evolved and developed since the nation's inception in the 18th century. Methods: Besides our life time experiences in receiving training, teaching, and practicing psychiatry, we collected information from the literature pertinent to the history of development of American psychiatry in this review. Results: In this review, we have highlighted some of the more cardinal events in American history – the shift from asylums to deinstitutionalization of patients in chronic state hospitals; the birth and evolution of the Diagnostic and Statistical of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association inspired by a dire need to unite a field; the revolutionary discovery of psychotropic medications and the galvanization of pharmaceutical research, development, and use of psychotropic medications in America; and the growing passion for psychiatry over the last several years among senior medical students. Conclusion: In tandem with their colleagues in other countries, American psychiatrists have overcome many trials and tribulations in their endeavor to ease the suffering of the mentally ill in the United States. We are optimistic for the future of American psychiatry as exemplified by a growing passion for psychiatry among American senior medical students, the expansion of US psychiatry residencies, the continued commitment by the National Institute of Mental Health to fund psychiatric research, and the exciting and thoughtful research of our colleagues domestically and abroad.


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