Medical College in Nash ville, Tennessee, I was professionally socialized to believe that public health principles should dictate a sane, ethical practice of medicine. Accordingly, if a patient came into my office with a rat bite and I cleaned the wound, gave the patient a tetanus shot, and gave the patient antibiotics along with a clean dressing, I would be a good physician. If, however, several patients from the same community came into my office with rat bites and all I
did was sit in my office and treat rat bites, I would be a lousy physician because I did not go the extra step of working in the community to get rid of the rat. That is my understanding of public psychiatry. Part of the job involves getting rid of the various "rats" that plague the communities we serve.