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Medical Family Therapy: A Call to Action

Posted By Laura Sudano, Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The journey into HTML formatting started with a random e-mail in November 2013 to Dr. Randall Reitz, Director of Behavioral Sciences at St. Mary's Family Medicine Residency. In the e-mail to Dr. Reitz, I asked how to gather resources for Medical Family Therapists (MedFT) that would be accessible to everyone. In his response, Dr. Reitz presented a challenge, “Let me offer one slightly large tweak ... I suggest we take your idea and create a Medical Family Therapy Wikipedia page.” 

For those of you who are curious or just happen to like big numbers, Wikipedia is a free-access, collaboratively edited Internet encyclopedia with 18 billion page views and 500 million unique visitors a month. There are 30 million articles in 287 languages, including over 4.5 million in English. Although there are some issues with writing quality and accuracy, Wikipedia has an editing process that requires verifiability and a neutral point of view.

Fast forward to May 2014, there has been one (1) attempt to publish a Wikipedia page on Medical Family Therapy (see Health Psychology page for a template of the vision for our Medical Family Therapy page). Once it was published, Wikipedia editors criticized the field of MedFT as being a novel concept and without secondary sources added to the page, the page would be deleted. There were more secondary sources added; however, the changes did not suffice as the editors also pointed out that they wanted more than one voice present in the creation of this page. As Woody Allen once said, “If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.” To further flood this piece with success/failure quotes, I find that the following quote from Deepak Chopra is fitting to not only this situation, but to the larger mission of CFHA, “Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone.”

As such, I am asking that you, the CFHA community, contribute to the greater community and help create this page as an innovative, successful step within our profession. I imagine this page meeting two goals:

1. Allow the MedFT field to be accessible to the public so that people with whom we work or are introduced to us can be informed about who we are and what we do (patients, physicians, and other colleagues); and

2. Inform prospective therapists of what we do and where they can go for training at different stages of their career.

You can contribute! As the collaborative care field continues to grow in not only membership but training and certificate programs alike, I am requesting a call to action: Help re-create the Medical Family Therapy Wikipedia page. If you are reading this thinking, "Laura, I have no idea how to do this Wikipedia thing!" Not to worry. You don't need to be technologically savvy to participate. You can contribute. The requirement is that you bring passion to this creation. 

Here are a few ideas that I believe are the next steps in the creation of our MedFT page:

• Recruit a task force of contributing editors who will write sections for the page.

• For those who are interested, I will send out an online survey to all contributing editors regarding what they feel would be helpful sections for a Wikipedia page (e.g., History, Clinical Approach, Training Programs, Job Opportunities, Controversy in the Field, etc.)

For those who cannot join the task force, I encourage you to e-mail me if you want to volunteer to review the page upon completion and/or have ideas, resources, or other articles.

I am excited about the opportunity we have to reach out to others in the public domain. I am looking forward to your contributions and ideas to help the creation of our MedFT page. If you want to take action together and be part of this innovation, please reach out and e-mail me at I am looking forward to your innovation and collaboration.

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CFHA is a member-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making integrated behavioral and physical health the standard of care nationally. CFHA achieves this by organizing the integrated care community, providing expert technical assistance and producing educational content.