– US-trained Guyanese doctor to embark on an awareness campaign about benefits of treatment
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s premier Medical Psychology Centre which caters to the psychological impacts of disease and the inherent impact of psychological processes on health, well-being, and quality of life has been launched. The centre was opened at Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown on May 1, 2023 under the auspices of US-trained Guyanese, Dr. Godfrey Sears.
Dr. Sears holds a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), a Post-doctorate in Neuropsychology (NEPSYP), and the Postdoctoral Master of Psychopharmacology Program (MPP) among other qualifications and credentials. He is said to be the first-ever Clinical Psychologist with 19 advanced credentials, a multitude of proficiencies, and membership of many highly prestigious professional institutions in the world. He was selected, by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), to be among neurologists to attend Capitol Hill, for three consecutive years (2013-2015).
In an interview with The Waterfalls, Dr. Sears explained that “Many physical illnesses have substantial psychological components that should be taken into account in both assessment and treatment.”
Dr. Sears said his aim is to address the psychological impacts that Non-Communicable Diseases as well as Chronic diseases which affect more than half of Guyana’s ailing population.
He explained there is proof that the bio-psycho-social aspect of diseases that is ignored while there is a heavy concentration on the bio-medical aspect of diseases.
The doctor stressed that biomedicine, by itself, cannot address the most significant challenges to improving the public’s health in the new century.
‘He explained that “Psychological interventions offer great promise to reduce disease morbidity and mortality. Although psychological components are prominently associated with becoming ill, their assessment and treatment are not confronted in a serious way due to lack of Medical Psychology resources, expertise, skills, and credentials.”
“The point is that no patient can fully recover without engaging the psychological aspect of the disease. So my job is to help close the gap between the two…” Dr. Sears added.
While the work of the medical psychology centre will be instrumental in the overall treatment and recovery of patients, Dr. Sears admits that the Guyanese public will need time and information to adjust and embrace the services being offered.
There will be a series of public awareness lectures, and activities at medical centres, hospitals, and other health facilities to help raise awareness about the benefits of medical psychology.
He noted that the Centre’s mission is to ensure that Medical Psychology is a vital force in modern-day health care, research, and educational systems and that it is given the highest level of recognition, prominence, and priority worldwide, and ensure that it is understood by all and sundry that there is no medicine without psychology.
“The manifestations of psychological problems and psychopathology in diseases are varied and numerous. Psychological problems are distinct from medical problems and psychological problems can be risk factors for, can complicate, and can result from physical illness,” Dr. Sear said.
He noted that the Centre will focus on Neuropsychology, Epilepsy Psychology, Trauma Psychology, Pain Psychology, Lifestyle Interventions Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, COPD Psychology, Asthma Psychology, Gastrointestinal Psychology, Addiction Psychology, Pediatric and Clinical Child Psychology, Cancer Psychology, Diabetes Psychology, Pre-Surgical Psychology, and Behavioral Cardiology.
Additional key institutions being housed in the centre for Consultation, Research, Education, Teaching, and Training are: Police Surgeon: helping to keep law enforcement functioning, improving the quality of law enforcement services, and ensuring the overall health and well-being of law enforcement personnel worldwide; Caribbean Reproductive and Sexual Health Research Center: providing a constellation of psychological methods, techniques, and services that contribute to good reproductive and sexual health and well-being
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