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‘Guidelines’ vs. ‘rules’

Vol. 3, No. 6 / June 2004

The Texas Medication Algorithms (Current Psychiatry, February 2004) have been most useful to our practice.

When the algorithms arrived in 2000, our peer reviewer (not a physician) tried to classify them under “treatment rules.” We had some difficulty getting everyone to understand that these are “guidelines,” which encourage individual patient decisions, rather than “rules,” which mandate treatment based on “cookbook recipes.”

With this understanding, though, the algorithms have been beneficial and we look forward to the revisions.

Y.Scott Moore, MD
Lincoln, NE

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