Why don’t all doctors offer mind-body treatments?

Photo of clouds shows why bridging physical and psychological evaluations offer better patient outcomes.

Dr. David Clarke explains that doctors rarely have any formal training in how to diagnose and treat psychological disorders.

The medical profession has tended to fracture itself into the mental health world and the medical health world. There is very little overlap between those two areas.

Both groups typically have not had formal training in how to evaluate a physical disorder with psychological causes.

Mental health professionals tend not to have experience with people who are physically suffering, or physical symptoms of some kind, whether it is chronic pain or otherwise.

Medical health professionals and doctors are typically not trained in how to assess someone for psychological and stress-related causes of physical symptoms.

People with real physical symptoms caused by psychological issues or stress fall right in the middle of these two groups. This is essentially a giant blind spot in the healthcare system.

Education is needed to bring both sides together. Both sides need to understand the power of stress and the mind and psychology that is causing real physical pain or other symptoms.

Medical clinicians need to include this in their thinking when they evaluate patients, and mental health professionals need to know more about the kinds of issues they should be looking for in someone who is physically ill.

More overlap between these two groups will vastly better patient outcomes.