Pain unit director: Role issues for health psychologists

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Pain; Pain Clinics; Behavioral Medicine


Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


The increasing involvement of psychologists in the treatment of chronic pain has led to the emergence of psychologists as directors of multidisciplinary pain treatment programs. Although the role of pain unit director offers many opportunities to psychologists, several potential problems exist. Relationships with physicians must be carefully addressed; adequate administrative support must be secured; and the requisite clinical privileges must be sanctioned. Without such interprofessional and administrative groundwork, psychologists will have difficulty functioning within a medically dominated health care system. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


Citation: Parker, Jerry C.; Karol, Robert L.; Doerfler, Leonard A. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 14(2), Apr 1983, 232-239. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.14.2.232

At the time of publication, Leonard Doerfler was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.