paper on Adolf Meyer, about whom I have published, linking his psychobiological ideas with critical psychiatry (eg. see article and edited book).
Having had an elite training in Zurich, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Vienna, Meyer emigrated from Switzerland to USA in 1892 and his first job was at the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane at Kankakee as a pathologist. Disgusted at being seen as the 'ominous crow' who was summoned when a patient's death seemed imminent, he started visiting the wards with another physician discussing possible causes, diagnoses, and treatments at the bedside in the presence of the patient and staff. He fetched patients from the ward and escorted them to the staff residence where his colleagues were occupied with leisure activities and examined them at length. He said he gained the confidence of the patients, found out points overlooked in the ward and roused the interest of the physicians.
Thereafter he threw himself into the clinical field. When he moved to the Worcester Hospital for the Insane in Massachusetts, he standardized procedures for examination, history taking, and ongoing clinical observation; encouraged discussion and collaboration among the staff regarding cases; and integrated the data collected at the bedside with those observed at autopsy. He emulated Kraepelin, whom he had spent a summer on sabbatical with in 1896, by creating a catalogue of detailed case histories, handwritten on index cards.
As the director of the Pathological Institute established by the New York State Commission in Lunacy, he spent a week at every state asylum in New York, leading case conferences, teaching clinics, and ward rounds and demonstrating satisfactory examination and history taking procedures to the staff. He then became the first psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins, gaining a reputation as the "Dean of American Psychiatry" before he retired in 1941.
Maybe modern neuroscientists can learn from Meyer's experience of changing from neuropathologist to focusing on the patient as a person. Trouble is too many are attracted to neuroscience as it avoids the need to be centred on patients.