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01-02-2019 | Uitgave 1/2019

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2019

Behavioral Medicine: a retro/prospective view of the field

Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 1/2019
Stephen M. Weiss, Gary E. Schwartz


The year 2017 was the 40th anniversary of the convening of the Yale Conference on Behavioral Medicine (Schwartz and Weiss, 1977). In honor of this defining moment in the history of the birthing of behavioral medicine as a formal integrative field of biobehavioral theories, research and applications, we were invited by the editors to take a retrospective and prospective look at the field. Recognizing that much has been written about this history over the years, we decided to write about the “back-channel,” presenting never-before shared events associated with the birthing and evolution of the field in a way that would be fun to write and read. In the process we look back at the evolving definitions of behavioral medicine in light of contemporary advances and controversies in science. Our review includes a discussion of some of the present challenges/opportunities, and then considers the future with some “outside the box” possibilities. We outline some of the enormous advances which have taken place in technology since the 1970s and consider how such technologies can be transformative in redefining our field.

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