The Relationship between the Family Physician and Psychosomatic Medicine

Family physician Psychosomatic medicine Psychosomatic disease Curriculum


  • Farzad Goli
    Head of Danesh-e Tandorosti Institute, Isfahan, Iran AND Professor, Faculty Instructor, Energy Medicine University, California, USA
  • Hamid Afshari Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine AND Psychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Ahmadreza Zamani Professor, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Amrollah Ebrahimi Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Masoud Ferdosi Associate Professor, Department of Healthcare Management, School of Management and Medical Information Sciences AND Health Management and Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Vol 4, No 2: 2017
Qualitative Study(ies)
August 11, 2017


Background: Organizing the health system around family medicine (FM) has been a productive approach for developed countries. The aim of this study, which was concurrent with the Iran Health Transform Plan (HTP) and the establishment of the family physician in Iran, was to discuss the sufficiency of a family physician training program for their roles and increase their competency.

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in the Psychosomatic Research Center affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Science, Iran, with the assistance of the Iranian Institute of Higher Health (2015). An expert panel consisting of 6 individuals including specialists, trainers, and researchers in FM and psychosomatic medicine was held for this purpose. Using the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) website for the definition of a family physician, the curriculum developed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education was studied. Data were summarized in one table.

Results: The current FM curriculum, with this content and method, does not seem to be capable of enabling physicians to perform their multidisciplinary roles. it still has a reductionist approach and disease orientation instead of a clinical reasoning method and systematic viewpoint. The psychosomatic approach is applicable at all prevention levels and in all diseases, since it is basically designed for this longitudinal (between all preventive levels) and horizontal (bio-physical-social-spiritual intervention) integration.

Conclusion: Psychosomatic medicine, not as a biomedical specialty, but rather as a systems thinking model in health, had a rapid rise during previous decades. Now, its services have been integrated into all medical fields. This means that it should be adopted in the core of health care services (i.e., the family physician position) before other sections. This would help the implementation of this approach in the health system, and the reduction of patients' pain and uncertainty and improvement of their health. Thus, psychosomatic approaches for family physicians only emphasize on some of their fundamental acts.

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