Andrea Bradford, Ph.D.
As the lone psychologist in an academic medical department, I find that connecting to my colleagues in Division 38 is energizing. But never am I happier to be a part of this tremendous group than when I learn more about the exciting work that other health psychologists are doing. As examples, right now our colleagues are conducting pioneering work to transform models of primary care, engaging in advocacy to include psychology in the national conversation on health care reform, deepening our understanding of the linkages between emotional processes and health, and developing innovative strategies to train not only health psychologists but the other professionals who interact and collaborate with them. Division 38 is an incredible place to call “home.”
I hope that you might feel a similar sense of appreciation for the richness and strengths of our membership upon reading this issue of The Health Psychologist. This year’s Division 38 awardees represent some of these many strengths. I encourage you to read about their achievements and contributions to our field and to nominate your colleagues who are also deserving of recognition. In addition, I hope you will take the time to read about our members’ efforts to contribute to the developing landscape of reformed health care in the United States. With this issue of The Health Psychologist, we are launching a new health policy series that I hope will stimulate further discussion and interest among Division 38 members. Our first contribution from Dr. Rodger Kessler delves into panel-based behavioral health care, a concept that is very important to health care reform efforts but perhaps foreign to many in our profession. Complementing this piece is a timely contribution from Dr. Doug Tynan describing the mission of the APA’s integrated care initiatives. Together these articles reveal some of the emerging opportunities for health psychologists to shape the organization and delivery of health care.
With our roles as health psychologists evolving, often due to forces beyond our immediate control, we need to be able to turn to one another for support and career development. Dr. Vaneeta Sandu has contributed an excellent piece on navigating ethical dilemmas for early career psychologists, and our Student Council representatives highlight several recent activities to engage graduate students in Division 38 and connect them with helpful people and resources. Finally, we continue our mentoring spotlight by highlighting the experience of a mid-career professional who recently sought guidance through the Health Psych Connections program. Clearly, the potential of our skills and expertise is only magnified when we share them with others in the field.
As we enter the holiday season, it’s a good time to share our knowledge and skills with ourselves as well (in moderation, of course!) to maintain our own well-being during what is for many of us a rather eventful time of year. I wish you and those dear to you a season of joy, peace, and good health!