Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey
Guests: Cardiologist Dr. Joel Okner and Cardiac Psychologist Jeremy Clorfene
Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
If you or someone you love has a heart attack, the cardiologist probably gives you a brief technical assessment. Anxiety levels are so high you only hear a small fraction of what the doctor says, and remember even less. Typically, there is no discussion about the psychological factors and dealing with the stress, changes, and how different your life has become. Cardiologist Dr. Joel Okner and Cardiac Psychologist Dr. Jeremy Clorfene stepped in to fill the gap with their just released book, The No Bull Book On Heart Disease: Real Answers To Winning Back Your Heart and Health.
It is easy to miss how unique their message is. First, they put cardiology in language that lay people can understand and use. In their book, in particular, they take you step-by-step through exactly what happens physically and emotionally with various diagnoses, tests, and surgeries. That kind of information is surprisingly hard to find.
The even more profound thing they do is address how heart disease impacts patients and families emotionally. Managed care initially offered great promise. Kiser Permanente in particular, was very good at offering supportive and preventive services to help subscribers avoid even bigger problems down the road. Thus, managed care done right would encourage every heart disease patient to see a cardiac psychologist. But most of managed care deteriorated to cost containment. Consequently, we are left with a perfect storm that largely ignores cardiac psychological needs. Pharmaceutical companies advertise pills as the solution. Patients want pills and quick fixes, and compensation for doctors encourages 5-minute-medicine. Even the rehab programs medicalized rehab and made it mostly about diet, exercise, and physical therapy.
The Okner and Clorofene message is that pills may be necessary but without addressing stress, lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition, a heart attack or stroke is just around the corner.
My suggestion for finding a psychologist who is particularly familiar with heart disease and other health problems is to contact a hospital’s Medical Staff office and ask for a list of psychologists who are on the medical staff or affiliate staff. Then compare that list to psychologists covered by your insurance.
Dr. Okner and Dr. Clorfene practice in Chicago and host a weekly two-hour Radio call in show, “The Doctors Are In” on WKRS 1220 AM. Information on their book is at www.nobulldocs.com. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.