Medicine: The Sad Sacks

Psychiatry rushed into World War II as a bumptious big-talking rookie, then turned out to be the Sad Sack of military medicine. This is the verdict of two ex-majors among the 2,400 psychiatrists who served in the U.S. Army.

When the war began, admits Dr. Meyer Maskin of New York in the current issue of Psychiatry, "psychiatrists were both pretentious and ingenuous in their claims." The war taught them a new humility. Confesses Maskin: "Psychiatry has little or nothing to offer to surcharging men to fight or to persist indefinitely in the anxiety frustration and monotony of contemporary wars. It has developed...