I interviewed a young Iranian immigrant for our medical school today. Alone here since age 16, he wants to learn the biopsychosocial approach to help him “reduce health disparities” and be “an agent for peace and equality.” Our long talk focused on the importance of psychology and self-awareness to improve individual, family, community, and global health. This conversation reminded me of the countless opportunities that health psychologists have to contribute to the public good–to study biopsychosocial approaches and collaboratively work to change behaviors that lead to disease and dysfunction, to achieve the peace and equality that we all desire.
As President, standing at the Council podium during a crisis for our association was both a challenge and a privilege. I look forward to being part of our legislative branch to produce policies that bring psychological science and practice to the forefront of today’s problems, ultimately to produce health where it has been lacking. This is why I ran for President in the first place. I will work to pass a new Strategic Plan that ensures that health and healthcare are front and center at APA. I am filling a one-year position as Council Rep, but I would like the time and opportunity to do more.
I am a faculty member and leader at the University of Rochester Medical Center. My life’s work is psychology in health care. I live it. I breathe it. I enact it. Let’s legislate it.