March 13th, 2017
JPS has a new fellowship in Behavioral Medicine, a specialty that brings psychological skills to medicine in order to focus on conditions influenced by human behavior, which in the United States includes the most common causes of death and disability.
In preventing cardiovascular disease, for example, diet and exercise have been shown to rival medications for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, but knowing that doesn’t always get people off the couch and consuming a healthy diet. Behavioral Medicine seeks to understand what it takes to change behavior in the context of culture and psychosocial dynamics.
The Behavioral Medicine fellows at JPS also will work with Administration to develop a hospital-wide physician wellness program that will put JPS on the leading edge of a growing national discussion on physician burnout, said Dr. Katherine Buck, fellowship director.
An adequate pool of medical professionals is one measure of a society’s well-being, which justifies the time and resources invested in teaching, training and mentoring. But the nurturing of physicians tapers off after residency. “It’s like we build Jaguars and then never change the oil,” said Buck. “And then we wonder why the car blows up on the side of the road.”
Behavioral Medicine joins Geriatrics and Sports Medicine among fellowships in the Family Medicine Department at JPS. JPS sponsors or participates in a total of 18 clinical specialty training programs, from Family Medicine and Psychiatry to Orthopedics, Surgery and Nursing.
Behavioral Medicine specialists can come from several academic backgrounds, including psychology, social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy. Dr. Buck is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist.
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