The ever-changing culture of healthcare and graduate medical education has contributed to an evolving role of behavioral science in family medicine residency programs. Behavioral science historically has served a dual role within the residency program and healthcare system providing clinical education and training and psychological services 1-3,7,8. The current emphasis of behavioral health integration in primary care has contributed to behavioral science faculty members’ responsibilities in the provisions of integrating mental health, substance abuse, and health behavior change to meet the community’s needs 4,5,7,9,10. Additionally, residency programs have been challenged with generating a behavioral science curriculum to meet both Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) milestones and current trends in integrated care. This session seeks to discuss how behavioral scientists are utilized to accomplish behavioral science residency education needs in residency programs. Participants will identify strategies in curriculum development in behavioral science residency education with consideration to their work demands. Ultimately, this session seeks to inspire collaboration amongst residency faculty in the curriculum development of behavioral science education.
Behavioral science educators in family medicine have long struggled with how to prioritize topics in residency education. Broad curriculum guidelines exist (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, ACGME, 2014; American Academy of Family Physicians, AAFP, 2001; McCutchan, Sanders & Vogel, 1999), but consensus has yet to be established regarding curriculum oriented toward the practice needs of today’s family medicine doctor. Physicians value behavioral science (Oyama, Kosch, Burg & Spruill, 2012) and educators recognize the need to think beyond mental health and psychiatry to the broader arena of primary care and the specific needs of physicians in this context (Hodges & Inch, 2001). Family medicine residency behavioral science curriculum is more effective if prioritized to match what is needed in practice after graduation. Behavioral scientists benefit from the input of practicing physicians when developing relevant curriculum. We will present a study (Brandt-Kreutz, Ferguson & Sawyer, 2015) in which 430 family physicians in Washington state were surveyed on topic prioritization in behavioral science education.
While a physician-informed topic prioritization in behavioral science education will contribute to the evaluation and standardization of behavioral science, the increase in work demands of behavioral science faculty may limit the amount of time for rigorous study. There has been no current extensive assessment of behavioral science faculty work distribution to accomplish the many tasks associated with this role within the past twenty years. We will present data on the work distribution of behavioral scientist within family medicine residency programs. The data from studies on the utilization of behavioral science faculty and physician prioritization of behavioral science topics in family medicine residencies will assist with the identification for behavioral scientists to negotiate work distribution and efforts to accomplish accreditation requirements, clinical practice and curriculum development. Additionally, this session will provide recommendations for collaborative action steps for fully engaged behavioral science faculty members and physician-informed core behavioral science curriculum.
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