Survey Response: Dave Clarke, MD

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This survey was last updated in June 2009.

Degrees/Licenses Held: M.D.


Locations where you practice:Portland, Oregon, USA

Website: ; includes a blog that focuses on TMS/PPD.

TMS Wiki username (if applicable): Dave.Clarke

Number of years in practice: Completed medical school in 1979

Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: Since 1982

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS: Approximately 7500

Do you work with other professionals when helping TMS patients? If so, please describe. I often refer to Mental Health Professionals.

How did you first become interested in TMS? A psychiatrist, Harriet Kaplan, MD, cured a seemingly "impossible" patient and I asked her how she did it.

Have you ever suffered from TMS? (optional) Sometimes my neck and shoulders get stiff after a challenging day.

What insurance plans do you currently accept? I retire from practice after July, 2009 to focus on teaching and writing about TMS (aka Psycho-Physiologic Disorder or Stress Illness).

Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? NA

What steps should TMS clients take before contacting you? Emails are welcome but I am not seeing patients at this time.

Have you published any materials related to TMS?
My book is titled "They Can't Find Anything Wrong!" and is written for the general public as well as health care professionals. It uses stories about patients to help the reader uncover the hidden, unrecognized stresses that are responsible for their symptoms.

Which mind-body medicine books do you find yourself recommending most frequently to patients? In particular, do you feel comfortable referring people to Dr. Sarno's books?
I learned about Dr Sarno's books only a few years ago and was comfortable recommending them until my own book was published in 2007.

Special Questions for Physicians

Have you ever trained under Dr. John E. Sarno, or another TMS doctor? If so, please explain.
I trained with Dr Harriet Kaplan, psychiatrist at UCLA (now retired) as part of my fellowship in gastroenterology which is my primary specialty.

Other than training with a TMS doctor, what have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
Most of my learning was from detailed interviews with and managing the care of 7500 patients whose diagnostic tests were normal.

How would you characterize your position on referring for spinal surgery?
Not applicable to me since I am a gastroenterologist. However, I rarely recommend invasive treatment when diagnostic tests are normal or nearly normal.

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
Physical symptoms caused by stress are real symptoms, not imaginary. When the responsible stresses are uncovered, effective treatment is almost always available. My goal is to teach health care professionals and the public how to find and relieve those hidden stresses. Through lectures, writing and working with other TMS professionals I hope to relieve some of the needless suffering that results from the health care system not managing this problem.

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.