Peter White gets set to speak at Swiss Re Insurance Medicine Summit 2017

Jo Best

Senior Member
Peter White
Professor Emeritus in Psychological Medicine at BARTS and the London School of Medicine, and Chief Medical Officer, Swiss Re

Peter White is Professor Emeritus of Psychological Medicine at Barts and the London Medical School and a CMO at Swiss Re Life and Health in London, advising on psychiatric conditions and functional somatic syndromes. He has recently retired as a consultant liaison (general hospital) psychiatrist at Bart’s hospital, and led the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) service there.

He has always been interested in illnesses affecting both mind and body and understanding the links between both. His research has focused particularly on the aetiology and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), helping to establish the place of rehabilitative treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy and graded exercise therapy. His most recent trial was published in The Lancet this year, which showed that guided self-help, based on graded exercise rehabilitation, is safe and moderately effective in reducing fatigue in patients with CFS, when added to specialist medical care, compared to specialist medical care alone.

Image below from:

Swiss Re.JPG
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sarah darwins

Senior Member
Cornwall, UK
Burn out, vital exhaustion and chronic fatigue syndrome: Old wine in new bottles?
Peter White, Professor Emeritus in Psychological Medicine at BARTS and the London School of Medicine, and Chief Medical Officer, Swiss Re

Case study in handling burn out claims
Pia Cox, Medical Manager Health Care, AG Insurance

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS): A claims epidemic waiting to happen?
Debbie Smith, Chief Medical Officer, Swiss Re

Good. This can leave no one in any doubt about what's driving the BPS school.

Bonus clue: it ain't helping sick people.


Senior Member

He's recycling a title of Wessely's:

Psychol Med. 1990 Feb;20(1):35-53.
Old wine in new bottles: neurasthenia and 'ME'.
Wessely S1.
Author information

The history of neurasthenia is discussed in the light of current interest in chronic fatigue, and in particular the illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis ('ME'). A comparison is made of the symptoms, presumed aetiologies and treatment of both illnesses, as well as their social setting. It is shown that neurasthenia remained popular as long as it was viewed as a non-psychiatric, neurological illness caused by environmental factors which affected successful people and for which the cure was rest. The decline in neurasthenia was related to the changes which occurred in each of these views. It is argued that similar factors are associated with the current interest in myalgic encephalomyelitis. It is further argued that neither neurasthenia nor 'ME' can be fully understood within a single medical or psychiatric model. Instead both have arisen in the context of contemporary explanations and attitudes involving mental illness. Future understanding, treatment and prevention of these and related illnesses will depend upon both psychosocial and neurobiological explanations of physical and mental fatigability.

Invisible Woman

Senior Member
Don't you just love the way the system works? POTS a claims epidemic waiting to happen?

You can bet your life this won't be about getting people diagnosed and given access to help asap.

It won't be about how we can encourage, support new research into curing it at least managing it to reduce the impact on their lives.

It'll just be about reducing claims. Better yet see if we can twist it into a psych phenomenon and then simply refuse claims.


Senior Member

This event may be photographed, videotaped, filmed and/or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on Swiss Re’s and the Swiss Re Institute's internal and external websites and in printed materials.

Unfortunately, I would be very surprised if they videoed the whole thing. Plus, it's invite only.

As a general point, not all the presentations seem insane.

Smoking, E-cigarettes, Reduced-Risk Products
Reversing type 2 diabetes
Too much medicine and the great statin con

Reduction in health-care costs driven by insurance can be very positive.
If you can stop treating people who no loner need it because you've cured them, or reduced their future risk, that can be a major profit to you and the patients.

Similarly, stopping doing pointless interventions (CBT, GET).
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Jonathan Edwards

Reduction in health-care costs driven by insurance can be very positive.

I used to assume that it was in the interest of insurance companies to keep health care costs down so that they could make bigger profits but I was disabused of this by a friend who works in part as a gatekeeper for insurance claims. In fact it is in the insurance companies' interest for health care costs to be as high as the public will tolerate. The higher the cost th more likely people are to feel they need insurance. The higher the costs the higher the value the companies can add a percentage to when charging premiums.

No doubt insurance companies have to keep rogue physicians under control who charge out of line fees but it is in there interest for the approved fee to be as high as people will pay. Apparently, within the medical travel insurance area there is major behind the scenes collusion between big insurers and rip-off private clinics. Gatekeepers have to learn that certain 'friends' are allowed to slip their invoices through. And threatening phone calls are not uncommon. All good John Le Carré stuff by the sound of it.