The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
In their seminal essay, Societal Perceptions of Physicians: Knights, Knaves, or Pawns?, Christine Cassell and Sachin Jain, refer to three kinds of physicians: knights, knaves and pawns. The knights are motivated by virtue and service. The knaves by rigid self-interest, and the pawns are passive victims of their circumstances (employers and corporate masters).
It is clear, that most U.S. psychiatrists these days are Knaves and/or Pawns. They don't have time to listen to their patients, but rather, adjust their medicatons in short visits and depend on psychologists and social workers to listen and counsel. We have a a new specialty, "psychopharmacologists" whose knaves and pawns generate the income they want at the expense of their patients.
See a recent article in the NY Times: "Talk Therapy Doesn't Pay." "A 2005 government survey found that just 11 percent of psychiatrists provided talk therapy to all patients, a share that had been falling for years and has most likely fallen more since. Psychiatric hospitals that once offered patients months of talk therapy now discharge them within days with only pills."
If you agree or if you are outraged, please let us know.
Gonif is a Hebrew/Yiddish word, often used in
English; particularly in southern California and New Yawk where many reside, indeed thrive. There is no exact
English equivalent word; `operator' is maybe the closest. A gonif
operates on the shadowy borders of illegality and/or impropriety, and
gets away with it, and is not quite an outright crook. The word seems
to combine proper moral disapproval with sneaking admiration.
Reference: 'The Joys of Yiddish,' by Leo Rosten.
At Cell 2 Soul, we propose a Gonif Award for prestigious physicians and "scientists" who have done very well (for themselves) even if they have not done good (for their patients). Many of these paragons hold prestigious positions at some of our stellar institutions. Recently, gonifs have been exposed at Harvard, Stanford and Emory -- but most, probably all, medical schools have their own tenured gonifs.
The first C2S Gonif Award goes to Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, "one of the nation’s most influential psychiatrists who earned more than $2.8 million in consulting arrangements with drug makers from 2000 to 2007, failed to report at least $1.2 million of that income to his university and violated federal research rules, according to documents provided to Congressional investigators. The article in the New York Time is fascinating.
Thomas Browne wrote, "No one should enter the Temple of Science with the soul of a money changer." Browne make have been the Anti-Gonif.