Monday, September 17, 2007

Soulless psychiatrists?

According to this Times article, the divide between psychiatry and religion is alive and well.

I suppose it's true, but I think it's a sign of how I've grown in my path towards pursuing certification as a chaplaincy supervisor that it now strikes me as strange to think of the two as being in conflict. Both are a way of trying to understand the true essence of existence and the human place in the universe. I use the insights of both every day in my work.
clipped from
The New York Times
September 18, 2007
Vital Signs

Insights: Two Paths: Religion and Psychiatry

Of all medical specialties, psychiatrists are the least religious, a survey has found, and the most religious doctors are the least likely to refer their patients to psychiatrists.

Although psychiatrists were just as likely as other physicians to report that religious beliefs influenced their practice — about half said it did — just 29 percent of psychiatrists, compared with 47 percent of other doctors, said they attended religious services more than once a month. When asked whether they described themselves as religious or spiritual, 42 percent of psychiatrists and 53 percent of other doctors said they did. About a third of psychiatrists, but almost half of other physicians, said they “look to God for strength, support, and guidance.” Psychiatrists were significantly less likely to be Protestant or Catholic and more likely to be Jewish or have no religious affiliation.

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