Behavioral Science

Welcome to Behavioral Science

The mission of Behavioral Medicine is to support the predoctoral, residency, and faculty development activities that incorporate psychosocial and mental health aspects of medical care, and to participate in research concerning these issues.

Curricular Goals

  • To promote an understanding of the role of family, psychosocial and cultural contexts in primary health care.
  • To promote an understanding of the role of the dynamics of the patient-physicians relationship and the concept of "physician as medicine."
  • To assist in teaching recognition and treatment of mental illness in the primary care setting or in conjunction with psychiatric specialists.

Predoctoral Curricular Elements

Behavioral Medicine faculty work with the Predoctoral division to fulfill elements of the NIH behavioral Medicine training grant.

Residency Curricular Elements

Principle: The behavioral medicine residency curriculum should be incorporated into all aspects of outpatient and inpatient care.


Practical Behavioral Medicine: These are hour long didactic sessions conducted by physicians or behavioral scientists to focus on core elements of the behavioral science curriculum.


Psychosocial Case Conference: These sessions are held monthly during our weekly conference afternoons. An R3 Resident will present a patient case that is particularly troubling to them from a psychosocial standpoint and present their research on the subject.


Resident Balint Group: Balint group meetings are held every two weeks during our Wednesday afternoon conference days. A separate group is held for each residency class. The Balint Group is a small-group method of discussing and reflecting on the doctor-patient relationship. It was developed in the 1950s in England, and is used as a training technique world-wide. The purpose of the Balint Group Session is to build empathy for the patient and to explore creatively the unique bond between doctor and patient. Three of our six Balint leaders are certified by the American Balint Society and are Council members of that organization.

Resident Support Groups: A support group is held for each residency class biweekly, supervised by an experienced group leader, to help process personal and professional issues particular to family physicians in training.

Individual Resident Training Activities

Hazelden/Springbrook "Family Week": All residents spend 4 full days participating in the "family week" activities at an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program. They join with the families of inpatients to learn in depth about the 12 step model of recovery from substance abuse, and learn about Al-anon as a program of recovery for family members. Many of the inpatients are medical professionals which fosters an atmosphere of reflection by the residents.

Psychiatry Consultation Clinic Family Medicine Patients: This clinic is held one-half day per week at the OHSU Family Medicine South Waterfront Office and is staffed by the psychiatrist on the Family Medicine faculty, Dr. Joshua Boverman. Referrals are made to this clinic by resident and faculty providers. It provides an opportunity to evaluate patients suffering from a broad group of disorders and formulate diagnostic impressions and therapeutic plans for particularly problematic patients. Teaching time is allowed to prepare for and debrief patient visits.

Evening at White Shield Home for Young Mothers and Pregnant Women: Residents accompany a faculty physician, Dr. Scott Fields, who makes a monthly trip to this living center for young women and their infants. They conduct an informal discussion about health and social issues, as well as other concerns of the women who live in the home.

Videotape Review: All residents are scheduled into four videotape review sessions each year. They are expected to videotape (with consent) at least one patient encounter for each session. Each session consists of a faculty member and three residents. Discussion focuses on the patient-physician interactions from a behavioral medicine viewpoint. This is intended as an opportunity for residents to receive faculty feedback about their interactive style with patients, as well as practice giving and receiving feedback.

Clinical Activities

Precepting at Richmond: As part of their PHD practicum year, two psychology graduate students see patients two-days weekly at the Richmond Clinic under the supervision of a part-time Family Medicine faculty psychologists, Dr. Clark Campbell. They conduct counseling and evaluation sessions for the patients in which residents are invited to participate.

Faculty Development Curricular Elements

The behavioral medicine faculty will assist in any components of faculty development having to do with behavioral medicine.

For more information please contact:

John Muench, MD
OHSU Family Medicine
OHSU School of Medicine
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239 -3098
Phone: 503 494-3437