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Dr. Zafirides Stress Management Strategies RARELY Discussed By Primary Care Doctors

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Peter Zafirides, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    Hi Everyone,

    I thought you might enjoy my most recent post:


    This is the battle we face with PPD/TMS. It was stunning to me to learn that only 3% of all primary care doctors do ANY stress management counseling. It is truly a sorry state of affairs, especially when nearly 70% of all primary care visits may be due to the effects of stress - including and especially chronic pain!

    Yes it may be a challenge, but there is also amazing opportunity for all of us to get the message of TMS/PPD out. We absolutely can - and we definitely will - make a difference in changing the way patients and doctors understand chronic pain!

    I hope you enjoy the article and find it worthwhile.

    Dr. Zafirides
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Shocking, isn't it? I had a quick scan of the services offered by my medical practice in the UK. They offer a whole range of clinics. Nope, they don't offer a stress management clinic.

    Do you think a medical practice is the best setting for professionals to assess and manage stress? I would like to see this offered at separate venues along with related services and activities, for instance yoga and meditation classes. With the NHS in the current state it's in, I guess I can dream on.
  3. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    I think medical practices are one of many settings where the discussion of stress management should be done. Given that about 70% of visits to the doctor are stress related, I think it is a national tragedy that physicians aren't taking more time. I certainly understand the financial pressures of seeing as many people as possible, but physicians have a choice to make at some point as to how many patients they see.

    Our medical practice, for example, is made up of 2 MD's (myself and my partner), 5 Psychiatric Nurse-Practitioners, 2 Psychologists and 12 therapists of various disciplines (LISW, LPCC, RN). When we started the practice in 1997, our goals was to develop a practice where prescribing clinicians would see no more than 2 people per hour (therapists always see their patients for an hour). We simply will not do 15 minute med-checks. That is not psychiatry, that is psychopharmacology. I do not believe there is another practice in Columbus that sees only 2 patients per hour.

    I do not bring this up to boast, or to disparage other practices in my community. Nor do I believe anyone is necessarily getting inferior care at these other practices. This is just what we do at our practice. I say this because physicians always have a choice. We continue to have a thriving practice that continues to grow - with patients and professionals who want to come work with us. Yes, we could make a ton more money by seeing even 1 more patient every hour, but I am not sure our mission could be achieved (it would certainly be compromised) if we did so.

    There are always choices for physicians in the practice of medicine. In my opinion, physicians need to be more grateful, more humble, more proactive and fight their learned helplessness when it comes to insurance companies and reimbursements. I would argue that we would be so much more healthy as a nation if physicians S L O W E D D O W N and talked to their patients.

    Just my $.02,
    Dr. Z
    Enrique likes this.
  4. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    I like what you write here. I validates how I feel about the care I get at my HMO.

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