Cytryn is not merely a good clinician with sound training in child psychiatry and pediatrics, of whom there are many, nor merely a clinician who, in contact with patient groups, develops interesting ideas, as most clinicians have a tendency to do. What makes him a clinical investigator is his strong and persistent drive to pursue these ideas further while using his background and training as an adjunct. Another factor that differentiates him from the general run of clinicians is his penchant for research environments and the researchers who populate them. One could call him a contact researcher or someone who has become a researcher through contact with researchers. He could as easily, and certainly more rewardingly from a financial point of view, have elected to remain in a clinical environment, but he was obviously swayed by the powerful urge to find out things and this particular “itch” took precedence over other competing attractions. His research environments have, therefore, determined the nature of his research to a large extent. The retarded, the physically ill, and the depressed child have successively engaged his attention to the exclusion, at the time, of almost every other interest. He gives himself over very completely to his investigations. His mode of approach to the problem is fairly patterned: on entering the field, he familiarizes himself with every niche of it through the literature, and there is very little that he misses. His research strategy is equally characteristic and follows the mode of “successive approximation.” He gradually works his way into the heart of the problem. Like a good investigator, he is well aware of his weaknesses and his strengths and admits both. He knows that he is not an abstract thinker nor a basic researcher but a sound clinical investigator who deals with issues that bear “an obvious relationship to clinical reality.” It is this type of insight that safeguards the worker from the omnipotent strivings that can bog him down in large, amorphous projects. Cytryn always seems to keep within the area of his competence.
KeywordsChild Psychiatry Child Psychiatrist Depressed Child Basic Researcher Good Clinician
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