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Behavioral Science





Education Mission  

Since its inception in 1960, the Department of Behavioral Science has provided basic, clinical, and behavioral science instruction for students in the College of Medicine, as well as interdisciplinary health-related clinical research training to students enrolled in many graduate programs on campus (eg, Anthropology, Communication, Education, Psychology, Martin School, Nursing, Nutritional Sciences, Rehabilitation Science, Sociology, and Social Work).


The Department has offers one main course for medical students: Introduction to Clinical Medicine I (MD811). Introduction to Clinical Medicine I provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to practice patient-centered and evidence-based care in today's health care environment, using multiple experiential learning modalities. Active learning approaches include experiential learning in clinical settings; training in communication and interviewing skills through practice with "actor" patients in small-group settings and with actual patients in clinical settings; and through independent and self-directed learning. Using protfolio-based assessment and internet-based resources, students in small-group seminars facilitated by behavioral and clinical faculty preceptors work through topic areas that include Medical Humanities, Medical Ethics and Professionalism, Developmental Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Nutrition and Cultural and Social Aspects of Health Care.


The Department has maintained a substantial role in graduate education. Each faculty member has a joint appointment with one or more social science disciplines on the central campus. In 2011, for example, Departmental faculty members served as chair, co-chair or member of dissertation committees for 85 graduate students. Departmental faculty also continue to teach upper-level graduate courses. Departmental funds and faculty research grants supported 12 graduate students in Fall 2012 with over $250,000 in stipends. The Department, in effect, serves as a central focus for multidisciplinary research training for advanced graduate students from programs such as Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Health and Social Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Nursing, Social Work, Educational Psychology, Gerontology, Communication, and Public Health. The Department also maintains a strong relationship with the PhD-granting social science programs in Arts and Sciences, Communications and Information Studies, and Nursing, as well as the Gerontology program in the College of Public Health. In some institutions, formal and informal barriers limit the performance of scholarly work that crosses college and particularly medical center boundaries. Because of the Department’s structure and history, the Department has provided a common pathway and nexus for interdisciplinary work in medical behavioral science.


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Page last updated Tuesday, December 04, 2012