Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Crary,

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Moore

Third Advisor

Mrs. Emily Knuth


In this thesis, the influence of external stressors on patient health outcomes in the medical setting will be examined. There is an overwhelming amount of reputable research that suggests that the American healthcare system, at least as it operates now, does not effectively improve patient health outcomes. Simply focusing on outwardly apparent illness or disease does not address the full scope of patient need. Ample evidence will be provided in the form of a comprehensive literature review accompanied by supporting anecdotes from real physicians in hopes of encouraging healthcare professionals to increase the breadth of their considerations when it comes to treating their patients.

While much of the information emphasized throughout this thesis may seem discouraging, the reality of the situation is that it is more than possible for physicians to aid in repairing the damage currently being done. By giving credence to the impact of anxiety, socioeconomic status, and personal concerns on a patient’s capacity to heal properly, professionals can provide medical care that truly meets patients where they are.

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