This introduction is to whet your appetite to the challenge of prescribing and alert you to its complexity and human dimension.
To write prescriptions is easy, but to come to an understanding with people is hard.
(Kafka, 1983, p. 223)
Kafka's much-quoted aphorism is naive in two respects. First, it understates the challenge of prescribing. Second, it implies that prescribing is a mere technical skill that does not require the meeting of minds between prescriber and patient that is vital to all clinical encounters. This book will demonstrate the need for skill in prescribing. It will also show how interpersonal skills are as important as technical knowledge if prescribing is to be effective and safe.