Don't forget the psychosocial aspects of health, says WMA President


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

The President of the World Medical Association (WMA) has highlighted the need to ensure physicians have more time with their patients to fully consider their care. 

Speaking at the World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting on accelerating progress non-communicable diseases and mental health last week, Dr Miguel Jorge said that while medical education and training place a strong emphasis on the biological aspects of diseases and their treatment, there needs to be a greater focus on the psychosocial aspects of health problems. 

“Particularly for non-communicable diseases and mental health, there is a need for physicians to take into consideration the psychosocial aspects affecting their patients. The physician-patient relationship requires enough time at each contact to allow for a comprehensive person-centred approach - and that often means more time than is usually provided,” the WMA President said. 

“In the mental health care field, more time when caring will certainly reduce the adoption of coercive measures and involuntary treatment that is currently observed in different parts of the world,” Dr Jorge added. 

Last week’s WHO meeting in Oman was attended by more than 600 people from governments, UN agencies, civil society, the private sector, philanthropies, and academia.