Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, PhD, M.Sc.
Associate Research Scientist
Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Okay, so I haven’t received a call from my academic hero Dr. Sanjay Gupta, but at least the headline got your attention. Most academics can relate to the first time they saw their “academic crush” at a conference, a researcher who authored a seminal journal article or a leader in the field. For me, Dr. Gupta is inspirational because he is not only a leader in academic medicine, but is also a respected journalist. During my undergraduate education, I studied journalism and aspired to pursue broadcast journalism. It took just one semester, as an office assistant, retrieving journal articles for the chief of psychiatry to fall hard for behavioral medicine. After a few weeks of literature searches, I decided to read a few articles and I was instantly lured in by a diagnosis historical referred to as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Week after week, article after article, I became further and further intrigued by the biological mechanisms of brain and behavior. While journalism remained one of my majors, it took a significant back seat in the realm of my interests. Fast forward to what seemed like FOREVER (in my Sandlot voice), I am now a health psychologist. Although quieted for some time, my passion for journalism never quite diminished. Thus, I am exceedingly excited to be appointed as the new Editor of The Health Psychologist.
I am handed the baton from Dr. Adrienne Williams who over the past 3-years, in her role as Editor, increased readership tremendously from a total of 8,064 views in 2014 to 18,000 views in 2018. Of course, it can’t go unsaid that Dr. Williams’s predecessor Dr. Andrea Bradford pioneered launching this publication online to cast a wider net for readership and to make the content relevant to all members. Now approaching 2020, The Health Psychologist is alive and well and even has a new face this Fall Issue. My efforts in revamping the aesthetic of this publication is to continue the excellent work of my colleagues by engaging readers with a format that disseminates information in a fashion that is optimal for visual and semantic encoding and likened to what we see in popular print media. I am also inspired by Dr. Williams’s work in implementing content specific to diversity and inclusivity. From her willingness to share her experiences in her thoughtful commentaries to the launching of the diversity column. It is my intention to continue to include diversity and inclusion in the publication as the norm and in the content as a whole. In this Fall Issue, you will see a few new columns including the Conversation Corner and the Interdisciplinary Corner which are platforms for discussion of a variety of health psychology topics including, but not limited to, advocacy for the practice of health psychology and diversity initiatives. I am especially keen to the new column Interdisciplinary Corner which provides a communication medium for our collogues in other disciplines to discuss the practice of the biopsychosocial model of medicine. The Conversation Corner is designated to voice pragmatic approaches for good clinical practice especially in the context of cultural competencies and ethics.
During my 3-year service as the Editor of The Health Psychologist it is my intention to continue to evolve and improve the publication by disseminating information that is intriguing, pertinent, educational, practical, inspiring, and easy to digest. The Health Psychologist is an ideal platform for SfHP members to communicate their works and passion in Health Psychology, so do not hesitate to contact me if you have an idea for a piece. I hope you enjoy this Fall Issue and issues to come!
Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, PhD, M.Sc.
Editor in Chief, The Health Psychologist