, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 71-78
Date: 05 Oct 2013

Behavioral Medicine in the 21st Century: Transforming “the Road Less Traveled” into the “American Way of Life”

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Abstract

Introduction

A key objective of this paper is to describe some major challenges and opportunities facing the behavioral medicine field in the current decade. Amidst current US statistics that present a sobering image of the nation's health, there have been a number of notable achievements in the behavioral medicine field that span the scientific/health continuum. However, many of these achievements have received little notice by the public and decision makers.

Methods

A case is presented for the potential of scientific narrative for presenting behavioral medicine evidence in ways that engage attention and compel action. Additional areas for behavioral medicine engagement include expanding interdisciplinary connections into new arenas, continuing the growth of activities involving emerging technologies, building international connections, and engaging with policy.

Conclusion

Finally, the fundamental importance of an integrated behavioral medicine field that plays an active role in supporting and advancing its members and the field as a whole is discussed.