Psychosomatic Medicine (PM) is the area of Psychiatry concerned with the psychobiological care of the medically ill. This patient population includes persons of all ages and those cared for in specialized settings such as internal medicine, surgery, organ transplantation, and many others. Psychosomatic Medicine specialists, in addition to providing expert formal psychiatric consultation to medical and surgical patients in the general hospital, specialized hospitals and outpatient clinic settings, also train psychiatrists and non-psychiatrist healthcare providers (e.g., internists, neurologists, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants) in the recognition of normal and abnormal reactions to illness and appropriate psychological care of patients with such reactions.
Thus the Psychosomatic Medicine Service (PMS) functions both as a consultant and as part of the primary medical/surgical treatment team. Via conjoint rounds and teaching conferences (primary intervention), formal consultations (secondary intervention), and involvement in inpatient treatment and discharge planning (tertiary intervention), the PMS provides a comprehensive approach to the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral needs of the patient.