Behavioral science education in family medicine: a survey of behavioral science educators and family physicians

Fam Med. 1992 Jan;24(1):28-35.


A mailed questionnaire was used to provide a profile of behavioral science educators in family practice residency programs, to examine some aspects of behavioral science curriculum development, and to compare the attitudes of behavioral science educators and family physicians regarding the proper level of involvement of family physicians in a variety of psychosocial problems. The study populations consisted of all 383 behavioral science coordinators of US family practice programs and a national sample of 400 residency-trained family physicians. Eighty percent of the behavioral science educators were familiar with the Core Competency Objectives in Behavioral Science Education, published by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and 61% had used this document to aid in curriculum development. Both behavioral science educators and family physicians perceived that the training provided in the areas of physician-patient relationships, family awareness, and personal and professional relationships was quite effective. The physicians felt significantly less effectively trained in the areas of biopsychosocial assessment and management. A high level of concordance was found between the responses of physicians and educators regarding the appropriate level of involvement of family physicians in various psychosocial problems. One exception between the two groups involved the problems of family and social functioning, for which family physicians advocated a more active level of involvement than did behavioral science educators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Behavioral Sciences / education*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Physician's Role
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods
  • Workforce