Rory Fleming Richardson, Ph.D., ABMP, TEP
Medical Psychologyis a growing specialty field of psychology which includes competencies in:
- Basic Medical Sciences (anatomy, & physiology, biochemistry),
- Clinical Neuroscience (neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry),
- Physical Assessment and Laboratory Exams (physical assessment, laboratory and radiological assessment, medical terminology),
- Clinical Medicine and Pathophysiology (pathophysiology with emphasis on the principal physiological systems, clinical medicine, differential diagnosis, clinical correlation and case studies, chemical dependency, chronic pain management),
- Clinical and Research Pharmacology and Psychopharmacology (pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, psychopharmacology, developmental psychopharmacology),
- Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics (professional, ethical and legal issues, combined therapies and their interactions, computer-based aids to practice, pharmacoepidemiology),
- Research (methodology and design of psychopharmacology research, interpretation and evaluation, FDA drug development and other regulatory processes).
A misconception is that medical psychology is synonymous with prescribing privilege. Psychologists who are Board-Certified may provide consultation and/or prescription services within the scope of practice within their individual venues/States if the laws allow, however, the scope of a Medical Psychologist's practice is in no way exclusive to this activity. As a Medical Psychologist, my services included the following:
- Pediatric and Adult Psychiatric Conditions
- Traumatic Brain Injuries & Neuropsychological Conditions
- Pain Management Consultation
- Health Psychology & Coping With Chronic Medical Conditions
- Complex Cases with Medical & Psychiatric Issues
- Eating Disorders & Addictive Disorders
- Learning Disorders, Perceptual Dyslexia (Irlen Syndrome), Post-Concussive Vision Syndrome, Sensory Perceptual Distortions
- Cooperative Team Involvement & Consultations With Medical & Allied Professionals (which can sometimes including working with the psychiatrists and physicians on exploring psychopharmacological options)
Complex medical conditions all present unique challenges for health care professionals sorting out psychological effects of medical issues, the interplay of psychological stress on the immune and endocrine systems and the blending of appropriate treatment modalities. Dr. Richardson has over ten years of experience working with patients who present with psychological symptoms and various medical conditions (i.e., autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders, endocrine disorders, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme, Hepatitis C, heart disease, COPD, RLS, IBS and post trauma conditions).
In working with other professionals, the impact of physical conditions, medications, supportive therapies, and psychotherapy can be coordinated to optimize the effectiveness of each. For example, with changes in health habits, some medication effects can be impacted which then impact the patient's ability to gain from specific aspects of psychotherapy. Without the knowledgeable communication between professionals, treatment efforts can be negatively impacted. A medical psychologist, with a broad training including psychopharmacology and the interplay of medical conditions is in the perfect position to provide the other provider team members with feedback on the potential interplay, especially with the frequent contact the psychologist has providing therapy.
To provide standards and appropriate vetting, the American Board of Medical Psychology offers Board-Certification to qualified psychologists. To discover more about the American Board of Medical Psychology and the Academy of Medical Psychology, click the icon below.