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"Medically Unexplained Symptoms: Diagnosis and Treatment"

Sponsored by CFHA's Medically Unexplained Symptoms SIG


Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST




People with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) comprise about 30% of primary care patients.  However, few health care professionals have had formal training about the connection between MUS and psychosocial issues. A systematic approach to diagnosis and treatment is described that is based on published evidence and detailed interviews with more than 7,000 of these patients. This approach is designed to meet the needs of primary care teams using techniques for assessing and treating current life stresses, the prolonged impact of adversity in childhood and somatic presentations of depression, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety disorders.  A toolkit designed to support this evaluation will be presented.


1. Learn the Stress Evaluation technique for diagnosing MUS

2. Become familiar with principles of MUS treatment

3. Review components of an MUS Toolkit for Diagnosis and Treatment



David Clarke, M.D.


David D. Clarke, MD has conducted detailed interviews with over 7000 patients with medically unexplained symptoms.  He is President of the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association. He is also Assistant Director at the Center for Ethics and Clinical Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology Emeritus both at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is Associate Faculty at Arizona State University and at the Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health Studies.  He is also a Clinical Advisor to the Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners Association (U.K.) and a Clinical Lecturer with Pacific University in Oregon.

He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and practiced Gastroenterology in Portland from 1984 to 2009.  His book for MUS patients is titled "They Can't Find Anything Wrong!" (all royalties are donated) and his website is  Dr. Clarke has lectured extensively on MUS and Psychophysiologic Disorders to health care professionals and the public across North America and in Europe. He has appeared on over 100 television and radio broadcasts throughout the U.S. 

Susan Wiley, M.D.



Dr. Wiley is Vice Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Lehigh Valley Health Network as well as Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Morsani School of Medicine, University of South Florida. She provides clinical supervision of a growing system of behavioral health integration among her leadership responsibilities.  Fifteen years ago she co-founded the Center for Mindfulness at Lehigh Valley Health Network.  For over 20 years she has been teaching Family Medicine residents how to integrate behavioral health into the Family Practice office.  As a leader in Behavioral Health Integration, she is a regular contributor at state and national meetings. 

Tyler Lawrence, M.A.



Tyler J. Lawrence, M.A. is currently earning his Ph.D. in Medical Family Therapy from Saint Louis University. He is a pre-doctoral behavioral medicine intern at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the Division of General Internal Medicine. There, he engages in research, psychotherapy, supervises Master’s level marriage and family therapy students, and teaches behavioral health topics to health care professionals. Last, but not least, he is getting married this spring to his wonderful fiancé. 

Heather Starbird




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