Health psychologists have become important players in medical settings as well as in colleges and universities, rehabilitation clinics, "pain management centers, public health agencies, hospitals, and private consultation/practice offices" (APA Division 38, 2009, para.4). Other career paths include options as university faculty, and as researchers (Swartz, 2005). Health psychologists can work with clinicians, creating models for effective care, implementing the biopsychosocial model of health (Marks, Murray, Evans, & Estacio, 2011). As a university instructor, one might focus on classroom teaching as well as research within the university (Swarz, 2005). As a health psychologist in a research track, one might pursue grant funding, or provide research skills for private or government organizations (Swarz, 2005).
Some of the challenges undertaken by health psychologists include understanding chronic illness, creating awareness regarding preventive lifestyles, examining the future needs of various populations and creating health care systems that meet those needs Gatchel, n.d.). Health psychologists can work with pharmacists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers to promote physical and mental health, preventive care, and help create safer and more effective healthcare systems and government policy related to the health and care of large populations (University of the Sciences, 2011).
APA Division 38. (2009). About health psychology: Becoming a health psychologist [Brochure]. Author. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/
Gatchel, R. J. (n.d.). Current and future trends in health psychology [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from www.uta.edu/studentorgs/psichi/gatchel-utapsychconf.502.ppt
Marks, D. F., Murray, M., Evans, B., & Estacio, E. V. (2011). Health psychology: Theory, research, and practice (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Swartz, S. D. (2005). Possible careers in health psychology--A student's perspective. The Health Psychologist, 27(3), 4.
University of the Sciences. (2011). Careers in health psychology. University of the Sciences. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from http://www.usciences.edu/academics/collegesDepts/SocialSciences/HealthPsychology/Careers.aspx