Health Psychology Versus Behavioral Medicine

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Jeina

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One of the programs I'm applying to has asked me to rank my interest in various areas of psychology. Health psychology and behavioral medicine are listed separately, and I'm having a hard time choosing one over the other. I've always been told the two terms are essentially synonymous, and I've been unable to find any information on this issue. Can anyone tell me what the differences are?

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Medical psychology, health psychology, and behavioral medicine are interchangeable terms for the same thing- the practice of clinical psychology in medical settings. I say to contact the program and ask them about differences in those tracks. I have heard of people being confused with rehabilitation versus health psych, but this sounds like a total mistake.

:confused:
 
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Definitely start by asking the program, but generally I think of health psychology as more research-focused and behavioral medicine as more clinical.
 
One of the programs I'm applying to has asked me to rank my interest in various areas of psychology. Health psychology and behavioral medicine are listed separately, and I'm having a hard time choosing one over the other. I've always been told the two terms are essentially synonymous, and I've been unable to find any information on this issue. Can anyone tell me what the differences are?

Behavioral medicine is a broader term which is multidisciplinary in nature. Health psychology falls under this umbrella term, but is specific to psychologists.
 
Speaking of B.Med/Health Psychology, does anyone know much about the clinical program at the University of Miami? They have a clinical health track that I am interested in applying. Any feedback is much appreciated!
 
While I think there's overlap in things such as obesity/eating, smoking, exercise, encouraging regular check-ups, etc, I think there are some differences.

Health psychology (at least fro my undergrad class) often looks at the way we view and make meaning of our health and illness. For instance, coping mechanisms in cancer patients.

Behavioral medicine I have seen as using the medical model to treat behavioral issues.
 
I think that is probably just a function of how your course was set up. Many people who identify as health psychologists study treatments for health behaviors, physical consequences of psychological illness, etc.

I'd also say you if anything have behavioral medicine reversed - using the medical model to treat behavioral issues sounds like psychiatry - a lot of the work being done in behavioral medicine involves using a behavioral model to treat medical issues.

I think the best distinction per above is just the question of breadth. I also see behavioral medicine as a bit broader, but it seems a totally arbitrary distinction in practice. How the two "tracks" would be different I couldn't tell you (it seems exceedingly bizarre to me to offer both). I don't know of anything Div. 38 does that SBM would say "That doesn't belong here at all" and vice versa. As someone in the field, I can tell you that none of our faculty draw a clean boundary around them, nor have any other faculty members I've met. So I'm not sure there is any way to know for sure without asking. The school may have drawn some lines around them just for the sake of dividing things up.
 
I think the best distinction per above is just the question of breadth. I also see behavioral medicine as a bit broader, but it seems a totally arbitrary distinction in practice. How the two "tracks" would be different I couldn't tell you (it seems exceedingly bizarre to me to offer both). I don't know of anything Div. 38 does that SBM would say "That doesn't belong here at all" and vice versa. As someone in the field, I can tell you that none of our faculty draw a clean boundary around them, nor have any other faculty members I've met. So I'm not sure there is any way to know for sure without asking. The school may have drawn some lines around them just for the sake of dividing things up.

Totally agreed. In theory, perhaps a person can tease out some distinctions. My question is what could possibly be distinct enough in training and practice to warrant 2 completely separate tracks? :confused:
 
Thanks for your comments, everyone. I just want to clarify one point: These aren't two separate tracks. The program is asking me to rank my interest in various topics. There is no separate track in the program for one versus the other. Hope that alleviates the confusion! :)
 
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