Would a healthier U.S. population lead to improvements in our current health care crisis? If so, what is the best role for psychologists working in medical settings such as primary care practices? These questions are not directly addressed in Hunter et al.'s Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care: Step-by-Step Guidance for Assessment and Intervention or Jeff Reiter's PsycCRITIQUES review of the book, however, considering the challenging times facing the U.S. health care, it is difficult to not draw relevant connections. In his review, Reiter discusses how psychologists who wish to work in primary care must learn to adapt to the mission and culture of primary care by conducting briefer consultations and seeing a wider variety of patients than the typical psychologist.
Would integrating behavioral health more seamlessly in all primary care clinics contribute in any way to fixing a part of the broken health care system? If all U.S. primary care clinics had a trained behavioral health generalist on staff to see every patient that sees a physician, what impact might this have on the health of the U.S. population and the system that tries to care for it?
By Jeff Reiter
PsycCRITIQUES, 2009 Vol 54(33)