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Am Psychol. 2014 Apr;69(3):230-48. doi: 10.1037/a0035472. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Psychologists in medical schools and academic medical centers: over 100 years of growth, influence, and partnership.

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Department of Medicine.
Psychology Service, Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine.


Psychologists have served on the faculties of medical schools for over 100 years. Psychologists serve in a number of different roles and make substantive contributions to medical schools' tripartite mission of research, education, and clinical service. This article provides an overview of the history of psychologists' involvement in medical schools, including their growing presence in and integration with diverse departments over time. We also report findings from a survey of medical school psychologists that explored their efforts in nonclinical areas (i.e., research, education, administration) as well as clinical endeavors (i.e., assessment, psychotherapy, consultation). As understanding of the linkage between behavioral and psychological factors and health status and treatment outcomes increases, the roles of psychologists in health care are likely to expand beyond mental health. An increasing focus on accountability-related to treatment outcomes and interprofessional research, education, and models of care delivery-will likely provide additional opportunities for psychologists within health care and professional education. The well-established alignment of psychologists' expertise and skills with the mission and complex organizational needs of medical schools augurs a partnership on course to grow stronger. (PsycINFO Database Record

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