Behavioral Medicine in the 21st Century:
Transforming “the Road Less Traveled” into the “American Way of Life.”
During the last half-century, behavioral medicine has made significant advances and contributed important insights relating to the prevention and control of America’s major health threats. So why, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, do many Americans remain on a path culminating in (largely preventable) disease and disability? In this presentation, the argument will be set forth that it is not a lack of evidence that has prevented a shift onto an alternative, more health-promoting path; but, rather, a lack of a collective set of tools and language for communicating our evidence in ways that compel action at the individual, organizational, & societal levels. Is narrative communication the answer, at least in part, to moving sound behavioral medicine evidence into the American mainstream? This premise will be explored, along with several other emerging scientific trends of particular relevance to both the behavioral medicine field as a whole and to SBM.