Psychiatric Journals are More Biologically Skewed than Internal Medicine Journals


Researchers from Tufts University (including Nassir Ghaemi) assessed the ratio of “biological” to “non-biological” in both psychiatric journals and journals of internal medicine. Though there were an equivalent number of biological and non-biological articles in psychiatric journals, journals of internal medicine had a predominance  of non-biological and epidemiological studies (22% biological, 88% non-biological or epidemiological). The authors conclude that this tendency may influence psychiatric education and practice in a biological direction.

Article → 

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
Reader Sean Kitaoka brought this article from March 1 to my attention. Usually I don’t include articles in “In the News” that are more than a month old; instead I put them into what will become the “resources” section. But I wanted to thank Sean publicly for his contribution.

Thanks, Sean.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]


  1. That’s because psychiatry is interested only in providing rationales for prescribing, not the epidemiological consequences of such prescribing. Outcomes be damned.

    I note MIA is running many pointers to papers that would be cautionary regarding prescribing (I applaud providing these resources), but I wonder how many prescribers see them or give credence to them, even in their own journals.