Although sexual dysfunction problems usually involve the psyche, few
psychiatrists focus their practice on such problems, reported Ronald
Stevenson, M.D., a Vancouver, British Columbia, psychiatrist and sexual
medicine authority, in a recent interview (see Psychiatrist's Specialty Finds Him on Rarely Trodden Path).
"Perhaps this is mainly because psychiatrists have little training in
the area," he ventured. "Also, pharmacologically oriented
psychiatrists might think that there are too many psychodynamic issues
involved, whereas psychotherapeutically oriented psychiatrists probably think
that there are too many medical issues involved."
Nonetheless, Stevenson believes that psychiatrists could be the ideal
physicians for helping people with sexual dysfunction problems, and he would
like to see more of them get involved in this area. So too would two other
psychiatrists who specialize in this domain—Richard Balon, M.D., of
Rochester, Minn., and Robert Taylor Segraves, M.D., Ph.D., of Cleveland."
They have been advocating for a long time to raise the profile of
sexual medicine in psychiatry," Stevenson said.
In fact, thanks to the efforts of these three psychiatrists, as well as
other sexual medicine experts, the Clinical Manual of Sexual
Disorders should soon become available to psychiatrists. Balon and
Segraves are its editors; Stevenson and other sexual-medicine authorities
wrote chapters for it. It will be published by American Psychiatric Publishing
"We hope to publish the book in 2009," John McDuffie, editorial
director of APPI, told Psychiatric News. "This is our first clinical manual on this topic."