Coach’s Corner: Somatoform Illness

This is a short Coach’s Corner video on somatoform and related abnormal illness behaviors which prompt physicians to request psychiatric consultation. Medically unexplained physical symptoms are not rare in the hospital and in medical clinics.

The general idea is to remember Stephen Covey’s caution about effectiveness and efficiency, which is that you have a lot better chance being effective rather than efficient with people.

“With people, slow is fast and fast is slow.”

Stephen Covey

The point is that it’s very important to listen for understanding and to validate pain and suffering. That means sitting with patients and taking time to hear what they tell you.

There is an excellent presentation on conversion disorder (also known as functional neurological disorder) on the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI) web site. It’s very helpful for clinicians and patients.

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