Medicine thrives on dissent. Of all the medical disciplines, psychiatry seems to generate the highest level of dissent, both from inside and outside the profession: no other medical discipline, for example, has some of its own members consistently argue that its very foundations are rooted in a series of harmful myths (Szasz, 1974, 2003). The best responses to this type of criticism identify the core concerns of the critic, dissect out the most relevant arguments and develop ways to integrate useful suggestions with existing knowledge, so as to advance the field in a pragmatic, sensible and evidence-based fashion. Such constructive responses to controversy are rare.
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