I began my work as a medical writer at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals with a focus on neurophysiology and the interconnections between emotion and pathophysiology. My medical knowledge and self-awareness grew when I moved across the country to work for Syntex studying women’s healthcare and the newly developing field of adolescent medicine.
Research scientists, psychiatrists, and neurologists provided my training, which included learning the work of Hans Selye and Harold Wolff and their tradition of understanding neurophysiology and immunology in the light of human behavior and emotion.
Most major medical centers now have centers devoted to the study of psychoneuroimmunology, busy with both laboratory and clinical experiments. Yet the everyday world of medicine still splits its focus into parts. Patients and their physicians are not sure what approach is best, nor which is primary for dealing with multilayered illness.
The answer, I believe, is all are best, and all are best approached together. I chose to work on a doctorate in clinical psychology to complement the years of research I have done in medical fields that often lacked an understanding of how to apply emotion to the equation of healing.