Sponsored by Sutter Health

Affiliated with
University of California, San Francisco

Excellence Integrity Relationship

Core Rotation: Behavioral Medicine


Location: Vista Family Health Center

Related: Building a History, Common Dilemmas, Residency Training, Empathy, Motivational Interviewing, Emotional Distress, Interview Skills List, Stages of Change Approach

The behavioral medicine program is designed to help resident-physicians learn about the psychological aspects of medicine, how to forge therapeutic relationships with their patients, and how to understand their own professional socialization.

The curriculum currently consists of four weeks of required rotation activities divided between the first and second years as well as longitudinal experiences scheduled throughout all three years of residency.

Training includes developing knowledge and skills in the following areas: assessment and diagnosis of psychological and psychiatric disorders with a particular focus on anxiety, depression and other mood disorders; psychopharmacology; office counseling; behavioral medicine, motivational interviewing and lifestyle change; child development; psychological disorders of childhood/adolescence; parenting; family systems; crisis intervention; family violence; chronic pain and substance abuse; cross-cultural perspectives; community resources; and guided review of their recorded patient interviews.

Residents participate in Balint training, an experiential group process for better understanding complex and challenging patient-physician relationships and increasing empathic capacity and attunement with those patients. Video Review occurs during all three years of training to helps residents develop effective and efficient relationship-centered interviewing skills. In the outpatient setting, residents receive consultation from the behavioral medicine faculty. Conferences and workshops on a core set of behavioral medicine topics are held throughout all three years.