Behavioral Sciences is a branch of science that deals primarily with human action and often seeks to generalize about human behavior in society. It deals with any of the various interrelated disciplines, such as psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, which observe and study human activity, including psychological and emotional development, interpersonal relationships, values, and morals. Human health and illness are influenced by multiple interacting biological, psychological, social, cultural, behavioral, and economic factors. The behavioral and social sciences have contributed a great deal of research-based knowledge in each of these areas that can inform physicians' approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and patient care.
Development Studies is a multi- and inter-disciplinary field of study (i.e. not a discipline) that seeks to understand social, economic, political, technological and cultural aspects of societal change, particularly in developing countries.
Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Development Studies! The department of Behavioral Sciences & Development studies was created as an amalgamation of two related disciplines of human behavior and development. Understanding the way in which individuals develop before birth, as babies, children and adolescents through to young and older adulthood towards death is an important part of any social work role. Being able to skillfully apply this understanding in real life practice situations is even more important, as purposeful translations of human behavior and development are at the heart of effective professional practice.
Adverse health effects can be created or exacerbated by harmful behaviors (smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, and risky sexual behaviors). Similarly, psychological, social, biological, and behavioral factors have been shown to influence disease risk and illness recurrence. Such mind–body interactions and behavioral influences on health and disease are important concepts to which medical students should be exposed. Students should also graduate with an understanding of how their background and beliefs can affect patient care and their own well-being; how they can best interact with patients and their families; how cultural issues influence health care; and how social factors, such as health policy and economics, affect physicians' ability to provide optimal care for their patients.
Practicing physicians need to be skilled in the priority topics related to human behavior in the context of health. Because medical education is a continuum, it is neither necessary nor desirable for medical students to become experts in every priority topic. By graduation, however, students should be able to demonstrate competency in the six domains in the five year period of training in Medicine.
In pursuing its mission, the department is guided by the following core values: