What does it mean to be a doctor in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine?

 

 

Being a healthcare recruiting agency with a lot of vacant positions in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy in Germany we are often asked by our candidates:

  • “Is this specialty similar to other specialties in other countries?”
  • “What does a doctor do if he chooses to start his residency program in the field of Psychosomatic?”
  •  “Why should I be interested in following this specialty?”

The field of psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is a relative new specialization that was established in Germany in 1992 after realising the need for such medical specialists. Currently the field is only present in Germany and Austria.

The residency program covers:

  • 3 years of psychosomatic and psychotherapy
  • 1 year of psychiatry
  • 1 year of internal medicine

Psychosomatic medicine includes:

  • Diagnosis of psychosomatic illnesses
  • Psychotherapeutic treatment
  • Prevention and rehabilitation

In order to become a specialist doctor in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine, one must complete the 5 years of residency. At least 1500 hours of psychotherapeutic treatment must be provided by the physician in training with respective minimum numbers for individual psychotherapies of different lengths (short-term therapy, shoulder length therapies, long-term therapy), group therapy, couple and family therapy.

Specialist training for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy includes:

  • ethical, scientific and legal foundations of medical practice
  • the medical evaluation
  • the measures of quality assurance and quality management, including the error and risk management
  • medical interviewing, including family counselling
  • psychosomatic Basics
  • interdisciplinary collaboration
  • the etiology, pathophysiology and pathogenesis of diseases
  • the Enlightenment and the documentation of findings
  • the laboratory-based detection methods
  • medical emergency situations
  • the principles of pharmacotherapy, including the interactions of drugs and drug abuse
  • the general pain management
  • the care of seriously ill and dying
  • interdisciplinary indications for further diagnostic tests-including the differential indication and interpretation of radiological findings related to territorial issues
  • psychosocial, environmental and cross-cultural influences on health
  • the prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation psychotherapeutic psychosomatic diseases and disorders including family counseling, addiction and suicide prevention
  • the practical application of scientifically recognized psychotherapy procedures and methods, especially cognitive behavioral therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • the indication for socio-therapeutic measures
  • Detection and treatment of behavioral problems in childhood and adolescence
  • Basics of detection and treatment of internal diseases that require a psychosomatic treatment
  • Detection and treatment of mental-physical interactions in chronic diseases, such as cancer, neurological, cardiac, orthopedic and rheumatic diseases as well as metabolic and autoimmune diseases
  • psychiatric history and diagnostic assessment
  • the area-based drug therapy, with particular reference to the risks of drug abuse
  • the detection and psychotherapeutic treatment of psychogenic pain syndromes
  • autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation or hypnosis
  • the implementation of supportive and psycho-educational therapies for somatic health
  • Foundations in behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Crisis interventions under supervision
  • 35 double hours Balint group or interaction-related casework
  • psychosomatic-psychotherapeutic consulting and liaison service

 

Why should you consider becoming a specialist doctor in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy?

Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is an exciting and new growing medical speciality with a fast and constant evolution. It offers a new point of view regarding the correlation between physical and (somatic) illness and psychiatric factors that create somatic illnesses without physical substance.

An interesting aspect is the fact that a Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioner has the opportunity to conduct psychiatric evaluations and treatments for mentally healthy individuals without having to interact with common psychiatric patients.

One can be certain that Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioners will be more and more sought after in the near future!

Interested in working in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy?

Check out this job description!

 

 

 

 

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