Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine

Summer 2019

What’s New with the ETCD Council? An interview with ETCD Chair Amy Huebschmann, MD

Education, Training, and Career Development (ETCD) Council Corner

Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, FSBM; ETCD Council member

Welcome to the “Education, Training, and Career Development (ETCD) Council corner!” In each issue of Outlook, and in accord with our mission, the ETCD provides SBM members with opportunities and support to enhance their training and career development throughout all phases of their careers in behavioral medicine. In this issue, we interview ETCD Chair, Amy Huebschmann, as she enters her last year in this post. Council member Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin discusses the accomplishments of the ETCD, as well as Amy’s career path, and how it led her to SBM.

How did you become interested in the field of behavioral medicine?

I was trained as a physician, and my initial clinical research was in addressing barriers to exercise for patients with type 2 diabetes, so that naturally involved developing a greater understanding of the science of physical activity behavior. As a general internist physician working in primary care with an older patient population, I am also very interested in pragmatic methods for primary care teams to support patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases to make healthy lifestyle behavior choices. We know that in-person clinic visits are typically too few and far between to meaningfully support lifestyle behavior change.

How did you become interested in SBM?

My behavioral science consultant for my K-award was Dr. Andrea Dunn who is very involved in SBM, and she encouraged me to join SBM to enhance my behavioral science training for my K-award. I did so and have never looked back; SBM has been my go-to place for developing research ideas and collaborations.

How long have you been a member?

Since 2012.

Is this your first leadership position in SBM? If not, what other leadership positions have you had with SBM?

I chaired the Diabetes SIG from 2016-2017, and I have continued to enjoy collaborating with colleagues in the Diabetes SIG to present symposia and pre-courses together.

How does the ETCD match your own interests and expertise?

I am passionate about lifelong learning and mentoring – my children joke that I don’t know when to stop going to school – so the ETCD is a great fit for me. I am currently a co-director of our Primary Care Health Services Research fellowship at the University of Colorado and a senior faculty member on our NHLBI-funded Dissemination and Implementation science K12 award. In this role, I focus on training researchers who conduct implementation research in health systems.

What have been the major accomplishments of the ETCD under your leadership?

We were already providing excellent career development opportunities when I took over the council, so I am thankful to our past chairs and council members for their excellent work over time. Our two major accomplishments under my leadership were both collaborative efforts. The first was to establish a formal collaboration with the Student SIG to allow our two groups to join forces to guide the programming for students and post-doctoral fellows. This collaboration with the Student SIG was made possible by our enthusiastic ETCD council liaison to the Student SIG – Dr. Morgan Lee.

The second major accomplishment was our development of an annual series of webinars that address topics of career development for SBM members across different career stages. The webinar series is possible through our collaboration with the Student SIG and several other SIGs that have been willing to lead a session. The webinar series also benefited from our council’s use of a set of career development goals for SBM members across different career stages; these goals guided each of the webinars. These career development goals also inform the events that we develop for the annual meeting. For example, for in annual “Meet the Professors” session, we have sought to have each table address a different career development theme, such as obtaining R01 funding, work-life balance, addressing mid-career needs, and exploring non-academic career paths.

What do you plan to do in your final ETCD year?

We are excited to have one of our ETCD Council members, Dr. Courtney Bonner, spearheading a Leadership pre-course for early career professionals that we will offer at SBM 2020. This is proposed as a parallel program to the Leadership Institute for mid-career professionals, and is focused on enhancing diversity as a leader. If you are interested in this opportunity and you are a post-doctoral fellow, junior faculty member, or in an early-career industry position, please save-the-date for the SBM 2020 pre-course on April 1, and look for applications for this pre-course to come out in Fall 2019.

What suggestions do you have for your successor?

Be a good listener to the career development needs of our members, and seek to offer programs that fit the different needs of students, post-doctoral fellows, early career, and mid-career stages.

Thank you for sharing your time, expertise, and experience with SBM. It’s been my own pleasure to work with you. No doubt, not only your successor, but all of us will continue to gain from your contributions to the ETCD in the future.

The ETCD welcomes input from all SBM members as to the types of topics we should address as a Council. Please e-mail Andrew Schmidt at aschmidt@sbm.org if you have a suggestion for us.