The problem with Insel's remedy is that too many young psychiatrists, if they believe him, will become disillusioned. He makes reference to an NIMH Neuroscience and Psychiatry module Translating neural circuits into novel therapeutics, which suggests that impaired GABA neurotransmission in chandelier neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex contributes to cognitive impairments in schizophrenia, which may be corrected by an agonist for GABAA alpha 2 subunit receptors. The module mentions a small RCT using such a drug, MK-0777, which seemed to find evidence of improved performance on memory tasks, but doesn't mention a larger scale study which failed to show any improvement in cognition.
Putting on one side that cognitive impairment in schizophrenia may well be functional, the complexity of speculation is supposed to excite people into understanding the pathological basis of psychiatry so that they can develop so-called rational treatments that then undergo rigorous testing. But are hypothetical, wishfulling phantasies really going to attract a new batch of recruits?
Personally, I suspect we need to remind ourselves of the interest in psychiatry which Aubrey Lewis stimulated at the Maudsley Hospital Medical School after he was appointed Professor of Psychiatry in 1948. For him, postgraduate psychiatry should be for "ardent, critical, lively, disputatious and reflective, eager minds". He encouraged a sceptical approach to psychiatry. He had little patience for imprecision or poorly thought-out ideas.
As Michael Shepherd pointed out in a BJPsych article, "Throughout his professional life Sir Aubrey was at all times an educator who was much concerned with the problems of recruitment into psychiatry, more especially with quality rather than quantity." Doctors with open minds, who are sceptical of psychiatric quackery, need to be attracted into psychiatry.