One way to enhance the quality of our care of patients is to learn and implement expert practice guidelines. But there are some problems. First of all, there are so many guidelines out there that it is hard to know which ones to learn. A related issue is that some guidelines are funded by drug companies standing to benefit financially from the recommendations. This doesn't necessarily mean the guidelines are biased, but it has caused quite a bit of controversy. For example, the widely disseminated Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP), which publishes treatment algorithms for depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and which is partly funded by drug companies, has come under fire in its home state. The Texas Attorney General accused Janssen of using TMAP as a marketing tool for Risperdal, and recently ordered that the use of the guidelines for children be halted in the state.
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Ronald C. Albucher, MD, is the director of counseling and psychological services and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.
Steve Balt, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay area.
Richard Gardiner, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Potter Valley, CA.
Alan D. Lyman, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, NY.
James Megna, MD, PhD, is the director of inpatient psychiatry and an associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.
Robert L. Mick, MD, is a contract physician in addiction medicine and military psychiatry in Bloomfield, NY.
Michael Posternak, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Boston, MA.
Glen Spielmans, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN.
Marcia L. Zuckerman, MD is director of Psychiatric Services at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA.
All editorial content is peer reviewed by the editorial board. Dr. Albucher, Dr. Balt, Dr. Gardiner, Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Lyman, Dr. Megna, Dr. Mick, Dr. Posternak, Dr. Spielmans, and Dr. Zuckerman have disclosed that they have no relevant financial or other interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity. Dr. Balt discloses that his spouse is employed as a sales representative for Otsuka America, Inc.