A therapist recently posed a key question about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): what is the benefit to a patient of their family doctor knowing this information?
Archive for the ‘Lectures’ Category
There is a new program at the Phoenix branch of Arizona State University. They are training people with master’s degrees in social work or a mental health field to become Doctors of Behavioral Health. The goal is for them to work closely with physicians, ideally co-located in the same office and collaborating extensively on behavioral and mental health issues as part of primary care. Diagnosis and treatment of Stress Illness would clearly be a significant part of their work.
In the year I was born, James Watson and Thomas Crick were young scientists working at Cambridge University (UK) who often discussed their work over a pint at the centuries-old Eagle pub. They deduced the double-helix structure of DNA using x-ray images taken by Maurice Wilkins and especially Rosalind Franklin. (Dr. Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 and her contribution came to light only after the three men received the Nobel Prize in 1962). After the discovery, Dr Crick went to the Eagle and announced they had “found the secret of life.”
Yesterday I was honored to speak to primary care practitioners from Europe at the annual conference of WONCA (the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians), held in Malaga, Spain. I had been invited by a varied group of remarkable clinicians including: (more…)
After 4.5 hours of instruction, two dozen mental health clinicians (MHCs) with varied training and experience were able to find the diagnosis in a half-dozen simulated stress illness patients. So I also talked to them about reaching out to medical clinicians to teach them how to explain the following concepts to their patients: (more…)
After four and a half hours of instruction in how to do a Stress Check-Up (which is an Illness Chronology plus a Stress History), my next question was whether my audience of two dozen mental health professionals could use it to diagnose a “real patient.” So I tested them.
I am slowly figuring out how we might move the existing health care system toward better care of stress illness patients. I learned a lot more yesterday when, for seven hours, I shared ideas with two dozen mental health clinicians who came from a wide range of training backgrounds and professional positions.
Physical illness caused by psychosocial stress is a clinical dilemma that was known to Hippocrates nearly 2500 years ago. We still don’t have a good solution. Medical clinicians aren’t trained to ask about people’s lives and connect what they find with symptoms. Mental health clinicians don’t see too many patients whose main concern is pain or other body symptoms. But I’m optimistic that in the 21st century will see growing use of good solutions.
Rosie O’Donnell has been a stand-up comic, television actress, film actress, adoptive mother and daytime television talk-show host as well as a singer, author, gay rights activist, magazine editor and philanthropist, giving millions of dollars to a children’s foundation and other charities. Since last November she has hosted a radio show on Sirius/XM where, this morning, I had the chance to inform her listeners about stress illness.
Kauai is a wonderful place to talk about stress, primarily because it is difficult to have any while you are there. Last week I went to the Garden Isle to present my lecture on stress illness to clinicians of a variety of specialties from the Pierce County (Washington State including Tacoma & Mt Rainer) Medical Society. They asked a number of thoughtful questions. They were clearly interested in diagnosing stress illness but felt the need for greater support from mental health clinicians (MHCs) than was available in their community. This referred to the limited number of MHCs and also to MHCs experience evaluating patients with unexplained physical symptoms.