How goes the marriage?
AbstractThe last several years have seen a greatly increasing interest in the development of collaborative efforts between psychologists and pediatricians. Kagan (1965) has alluded to a "new marriage" in emphasizing benefits inherent in such a collaboration. Further, attention has been appropriately focused on issues of training psychologists for the relatively unique role of working in a pediatric setting. The present article describes a consultative experience in a large pediatric outpatient practice. The emphasis in this experience was on the training advantages of such an arrangement for both the pediatrician and the psychologist trainee involved (R.G.E.) who in this case was a postdoctoral fellow in a child psychology training program at a nearby medical school. There were a number of specific expectations held at the beginning. Direct involvement in a large, busy, outpatient pediatric setting was seen as the most graphic way to expose the trainee to the wide variety of developmental/psychological problems which the community pediatrician must cope with. Such involvement would hopefully lead to efficient, effective collaboration between pediatrician and psychologist and result in a mutual learning experience. Another important feature of this experience was that it was seen to differ from the typical training setting where the pre- or post-doctoral fellow works largely with other trainee-level colleagues. In the present situation, the trainee would have to relate directly to well-established, highly trained pediatricians. Work in such a setting would presumably also help the trainee in developing facility at making rapid but effective clinical judgments using the clinical skills he had developed up to this point. Finally, from a service standpoint, this form of consultation was expected to short-circuit the usually lengthy referral process with all its attendant frustrations, delays, and lack of feedback, and then ideally serve as a bridge to more intensive psychotherapy or other treatment where indicated for both parents and child.