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Munter Becomes Chief Of UHS Psychiatrists

By Samuel Z. Goldhaber

Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, director of the University Health Service (UHS) announced yesterday two important appointments that may improve the quality and increase the quantity of psychiatric care, especially for undergraduates.

Dr. Preston K. Munter, who joined the UHS in 1953, becomes the new Chief of Psychiatry on November 1, replacing Dr. Graham B. Blaine Jr., who has held the position since 1964. Dr. Paul A. Walters Jr., who has been on the staff since 1956, will become the assistant director of the UHS and the Chief of Training.

Blaine, who joined UHS in 1955, said yesterday that he was planning to leave before Wacker's appointment as director last spring, and that he has "a tremendous amount of confidence in the Health Services."

Now 53, he will practice at a small rural mental health center in Lakeville, Conn., and will act as consulting psychiatrist for Simon's Rock College, an experimental college in Great Barrington, Mass. "A career change in mid-life is something I believe in," Blaine said. "It's a new kind of challenge."

Blaine has been a controversial figure ever since he opposed the extension of parietal hours in 1963. "I urged the College to keep male and female undergraduates separated after dark, which in the long-run, I think, was a mistaken view," he said. Six years later, Blaine wrote an article in the Herald-Traveler analyzing hard core student revolutionaries.

In the past, the UHS has referred many students needing psychiatric help, particularly those needing long-term therapy, to other psychiatrists and clinics in the Boston area. Munter said yesterday that ideally, he does not want to refer students elsewhere and aims to keep "all treatment for undergraduates within the Health Services," resources permitting.


"I want to encourage more long-term therapy within whatever limits that are possible," Munter said. "We're limited of course on a pragmatic level because it's so expensive. But long-term therapy is the wellspring and granddaddy of psychiatry. It permits a honing of skills for the psychiatrist."

However, long-term therapy is just a small part of the overall solution. "We want to break down the myth of the magic 50-minute psychiatric hour," Munter said. "Some five-minute sessions can really pack a wallop."

Munter who is the psychiatric consultant for the Itek Corporation, will try to develop an industrial psychiatry program at Harvard. This program will deal with such matters as drinking problems that affect work, and absenteeism for emotional reasons.

He also wants to increase the faculty utilization of the psychiatric services. "It's my impression that if the faculty knew we were available and what we have to offer, a good many more faculty would use us."

Another goal Munter mentioned is increasing "the direct non-clinical contact with the student population, particularly undergraduates. We want to start talking 'people-to-people' and ex-

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