Behavioral and Social Sciences

The behavioral and social sciences theme promotes the integration and application of social and behavioral sciences across all aspects of medical education and practice. This theme is based on the core belief that excellence in patient care requires an appreciation and understanding of illness as a behavioral as well as a biomedical construct.

Behavioral and social sciences content is incorporated into all four years of the medical school experience. The curriculum emphasizes areas including, but not limited to:

  • Appreciation for the essential and transformative role of the physician-patient relationship.
  • Excellence in patient care through superior empathy and communication skills.
  • Recognition of psychosocial correlates of health and disease.
  • Cognizance of the role of social and behavioral factors in patient engagement, treatment, and outcome.
  • Development and maintenance of physician insight, self-awareness, self-reflection and self-care skills.
  • Mindfulness of context and respect for diversity across interactions with patients, their families and multidisciplinary colleagues.


Gina Touch-Mercer, PhD
Behavioral Sciences Theme