This is a symposium on the subject and a representative sample of current opinions of the Journal of International Psychiatry Clinics. There are accounts that most surgeons with similar experience have encountered among their own patients and hopefully have recognized these and have profitted from them.
Emphasis is placed upon recognizing the importance of a careful preoperative interview with the patient to determine, first, whether the patient's disease is real or fanciful; also, the importance of assessing the patient's stability and of gaining the patient's confidence by speaking freely and with candor about the nature of his operation is stressed.
One is impressed by several obvious aspects of patient care that often are overlooked—the importance of continuity of patient care—that the same physician continue to treat the patient as long as his illness falls within the physician's area of competence. Questions about the significance of the patient's illness, his chance