Clinical health psychology in healthcare: Psychology's contributions to the medical team


The specialty of clinical health psychology is focused on the intersection of, and interplay between, physical and behavioral health. Many clinical health psychologists are employed in medical settings and embedded within healthcare teams. While the value of clinical health psychologists in healthcare has been well documented, literature synthesizing the contributions of clinical health psychologists in optimizing outcomes in team-based healthcare is limited. In this article, we provide an overview of the history of the field of clinical health psychology, as well as current established training requirements and competencies, and models of professional practice within the medical setting. We clarify the unique contributions of clinical health psychologists as members of healthcare teams, highlighting areas of expertise in assessment, treatment, consultation, education, and advocacy. Specifically, we describe the ways in which clinical health psychologists partnering with medical providers to address psychological and behavioral factors in health and illness can optimize patient functioning, outcomes, and quality of life; improve healthcare policy; and streamline healthcare costs, above and beyond a traditional medical model. The Mayo Clinic Rochester practice in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and Clinical Health Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship program are presented as an example to illustrate the ways in which clinical health psychologists integrate within healthcare teams and specialty areas to improve patients’ health, functioning, quality of life, and treatment outcomes. Overall, this paper explicitly outlines the value of the specialty within the healthcare setting.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Bogucki, OE, EL Kacel, ME Schumann, AJ Puspitasari, TL Pankey, RJ Seime, JA Sperry, CA Gonzalez, et al. (2022). Clinical health psychology in healthcare: Psychology's contributions to the medical team. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice, 29. pp. 100554–100554. 10.1016/j.xjep.2022.100554 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Tyson L Pankey

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.