Stephan Weinland, PhD
The most valuable aspect of the work I do comes through teaching and showing the relationships between the biopsychosocial model and how to apply it to transplant patient clinical care. I have come to recognize that from my perspective, there is no such thing as a difficult patient, only patients with difficult problems. This view is sometimes panned as being naïve, but seeing patient concerns from this perspective helps the focus of my interactions remain on the actual problem that needs to be resolved, rather than the more superficial components of patient presentations. Bring awareness to, and resolve the underlying problem, and frequently a 'difficult patient' will wind up being anything but. This approach helps me improve my day to day resilience and helps me feel energized about working in the fields of health psychology and organ transplant.
I am an officer in the US Army Reserves and have spent most of the last year deployed with the Army to Kuwait, Iraq, and a number of other countries in the Middle East. My role here has been keeping soldiers safe and able to do their jobs. Even here though I have had the chance to use my knowledge of organ transplantation and health psychology to assist soldiers with family members who are pursing transplantation or having other health concerns. My deployment to the Middle East is coming to an end now, and I look forward to rejoining my colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System again in the coming weeks. They've been phenomenally supportive in my absence and I consider myself lucky to be working with such amazing transplant professionals. I'm looking forward to being with my family and colleagues again before the end of this year.