Outlook: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Fall 2007 Return to Outlook Main page >>

Your Membership Voice

“Your Membership Voice” is a new column that will be featured periodically in Outlook. This column will be devoted to addressing questions you have about SBM and how to get involved, written by your Member Delegates, Jasjit Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS,  Amanda Graham, PhD, and Felicia Hill-Briggs, PhD, ABPP.  If you have topics or questions regarding SBM that you would like to see addressed in this column, send them to Felicia Hill-Briggs at fbriggs3@jhmi.edu.

Did you know that SBM remains at the forefront as a multidisciplinary behavioral medicine organization comprising researchers, educators, clinicians, and students/trainees across professions including medicine, psychology, nursing, epidemiology, physiology, nutrition, and public health, to name just a few? You can help SBM serve as your “home” for meeting your expertise, resource, and information needs concerning behavioral medicine. Do you have ideas for SBM? Are you taking advantage of resources available through SBM? Are you aware of what projects and activities SBM is working on throughout the year? Send us your questions and comments. In this column, your Member Delegates can help steer you around SBM so that you can maximize your involvement.

Q & A:

I am teaching a behavioral medicine course that will be open to graduate nursing students and psychology students.  Does SBM recommend competency areas for content and key references for inclusion?

Although SBM does not have a recommended teaching guide for academic behavioral medicine, fellow members of SBM have provided their own course syllabi, topic outlines, and reference lists as a resource. You can find these on the SBM website  under Education, Training, & Professional Development on the opening page. Select Course Syllabi.   

It seems that SBM members are primarily researchers/academicians. As a clinician, how can SBM help my professional practice?

SBM needs and values your input. The expertise and experience you bring as a clinician are key to SBM’s vision of bringing about Better Health through Behavior Change. Translation of research into practice and policy, in particular, requires active involvement of and advising from behavioral medicine practitioners across clinical arenas. Join a Special Interest Group (SIG) in your area of interest or practice. Take a look at the Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine (EBBM) initiatives and share your input. Take advantage of opportunities for feedback regarding the annual meeting and scientific sessions to make suggestions for clinically-focused conference topics and activities.

I like to be an informed member. How do I find out about the operations of SBM and issues under consideration by the Executive Board?

One excellent opportunity is the SBM Business Meeting held each year at the Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. All members are invited to attend. At this meeting, you will hear committee reports on the financial status of the organization, membership, nominations and elections, and annual meeting, and you will hear about planning and priorities for the upcoming year from the president. In addition, at this Business Meeting, you will have an opportunity to see and get to know your outgoing and incoming SBM officers. Check your conference preliminary and final programs for the day and time of the Business Meeting. Be sure to include this one-hour meeting in your session planning.

Does SBM have a way to update members routinely of news and information of interest?

The most frequent method for communicating news and information directly to the membership is through blast emails. You will see “Important Information from SBM” in the Subject line of your email. Do not delete it without reading it!  It will typically include several timely SBM announcements as well as relevant notices from beyond SBM. You do not have to wait on the blast emails, though. At any time, you can also go to the SBM website for news and information. The website contains a Latest SBM News box on the opening page. In addition, you can click on the Links and Events (from the home page) to access related websites as well as to see dates for meetings and conferences that may be of interest to members.

Beyond the annual meeting, is SBM active in public policy initiatives or disseminating information in the public interest?

SBM’s Health Policy Committee is actively involved in developing and increasing member involvement in policy research, priorities, and dissemination. Two policy briefs are currently available for viewing on the SBM website, entitled: Diabetes: Measures of Quality of Care Should Include Patient-Centered Outcomes, and Childhood Obesity: Can Policy Changes Affect this Epidemic? These can be accessed by selecting Public Policies from the opening page. You can contact the current Health Policy Committee chair, Prabhu Ponkshe, MA, LLB by clicking on Councils and Committees from the SBM website’s opening page.

I find that there are some topics that are not well-covered at the SBM annual meeting. What can be done to increase the breadth of the scientific sessions?

There are several ways that you can help guide topic coverage. Here are three. 1) Each year, the program committee sends out an email to all members requesting input for selection of topics and speakers. Be sure to look out for this email and complete the survey by the deadline. 2) In addition, consider submitting an abstract for a symposium on your topic of interest.  3) Special Interest Groups are another mechanism through which to rally support for a topic. See if your area of interest falls within one or more of the SIG’s. By becoming an SIG member, you will have opportunities for scientific sessions input through the SIG.

--Your Member Delegates, Your Voice.