Applied Behavioral Health
Dual Degree DO/MS
des Anges Cruser, PhD, MPA, Graduate Advisor
Associate Professor Medical Education and Behavioral Sciences
Director of the Mental Science Initiatives Program
Alan L. Podawiltz, DO, MS, Clinical Director
Assistant Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
The Master of Science program in Applied Behavioral Health is administered by the GSBS in partnership with the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and the Mental Sciences Initiatives Program (MSI) in the Department of Medical Education. This degree program prepares students for conducting research and teaching in specialized aspects of behavioral health, such as addiction medicine, trauma, emergency psychiatry, and behavioral health services and policy.
A TCOM student becomes an Applied Behavioral Health Scholar in the third year of medical school, and completes one additional year as a graduate student before completing the fourth year of medical education. The student acquires additional skills and in-depth knowledge of psycho-pharmacology, clinical assessments and testing, mind-body medicine, and special populations. Behavioral Health Scholars advance their competencies in clinical practice, teaching, and research while completing the Applied Behavioral Health requirements for the Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences. Under direct supervision the ABH scholar may administer neurocognitive and psychological screening tests, participate in clinical activities and case conferencing, and make scholarly presentations in behavioral health research and education.
To be admitted to the ABH program a medical student must meet the criteria for the dual degree program including maintaining a “B” average and passing Parts 1 and 2 of the COMLEX. A resident must have successfully completed the second year of residency training, and negotiated sufficient time to complete the program with approval of the residency training director.
At any time after beginning studies at TCOM, interested students may send an e-mail inquiry to the graduate advisor (desAnges.Cruser@unthsc.edu) to schedule an informal interview. If a decision is made to pursue the ABH program, he or she will complete a preliminary application. The application will be reviewed by a panel of behavioral health researchers and educators to ensure the student’s goals can be achieved in this program. Interviews with relevant clinical and research faculty will be scheduled and a decision provided to the applicant within 60 days of the date the application is filed.
The student will be qualified at that time to file formal application to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) for admission. Normally the scholar will begin graduate course work at the end of the third year of medical school. A TCOM student may, however, take graduate courses during 4th – 6th semesters with approval of the Dual Degree Program Advisory Committee and the Deans of both GSBS and TCOM.
During the first three months of the program, the ABH scholar will select a major professor and graduate advisory committee members and file a degree plan with the GSBS.
Funds may be available and negotiated to support the scholar in the form of a paid salary from research grants, contracts, or other departmental funds. All dual degree program pre-doctoral students are eligible to apply for financial aid. Tuition for the Master of Science program may be compensated in whole or in part with available funds and negotiated with the scholar at the time of acceptance to the program.
This page last modified February 13, 2012