A note about Dr. Bob Spitzer
Dr. Bob Spitzer died on Christmas day. He has been called one of the most influential psychiatrists of the 20th century. And he certainly was very influential on the way I practice psychiatry. From him, I learned how to cut through the chaos of human experience to form a diagnosis that could be understood in any part of the world. I learned how to distinguish between normal human experience and a mental disorder. And from him I learned about the importance of measuring disease progression using structured tools. In later years, I admired him from afar for his courage and example when he publicly revised his views on reparative therapy for homosexuality.
Dr. Spitzer was one of the co-creators of the PHQ-2 and PHQ-9 standard tools for screening and monitoring of major depression. The existence of such tools are arguably what have allowed for population-based, decision-tree approaches to mental disorders. They are what make a company -like Quartet Health - possible.
RIP DR. Spitzer.