In 2009, over fifty-two million prescriptions for antipsychotic medications were written, totaling over $14.6 billion in sales. Such is just one small indication of how our current medical system treats its patients with medication as a first-line approach. This is not the answer.
There is a growing need for integrated health care systems which include psychological care, particularly those services provided by medical psychologists. Medical psychologists are not physicians, but they do many of the same things that physicians do or should be doing. Medical psychologists are also doing things that clinical psychologists have never done.
A medical system which profits from and relies primarily upon medication is not sustainable, especially when these medication-only treatments may be at the least ineffective and, at worst, harmful to patients.
This reader seeks to define medical psychology’s place in this complex and challenging environment.