Articles & Resources

Society for Health Psychology

Networking Tips for Health Psychologists

Early Career Professionals, Professional Development

By Sylvia Malcore, PhD

Clinical health psychologists can face a unique challenge in healthcare organizations when they are embedded in specialty clinics as the only behavioral health specialist. There may be other behavioral health providers in the organization, but day to day contact is rare. There are multiple avenues for connecting with other psychologists.

  • Consultation/Coordination of Care: Understanding and knowing what other behavioral health services are offered at the organization can assist patients with coordination of care and identifying appropriate services. This may be especially useful for complex patient populations in which an individual may benefit from different types of behavioral health services.
  • Communication Tools: Tap into communication tools your organization already offers, such as: secure messaging systems, electronic medical record, instant messaging.
  • Building Relationships: Explore informal ways to connect with psychologists. Are there social hours offered by organization or outside groups (e.g., State Psychological Association)?
  • Committees/Program Development: Psychologists may be playing roles in multiple committees in the organization such as: IRB, ethics, quality improvement. It can be especially fruitful to have psychologists “voice at the table” and connect with other behavioral health providers in the medical setting.
  • Cross Sectional Leadership/Mentorship: Identify psychology leadership to promote and advocate for challenges and psychology specific needs (e.g. RVU differences among providers, physician status). Identify the opportunities for division meetings for organizing, training, and advocating for psychologists. Furthermore, mentorship can be useful at any stage of career development. Identifying behavioral health providers who can continue to foster our growth and development can be useful especially when psychologists are at risk of working in isolation.