JANUARY 2014 • MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY 41
tions,” says Bullock. “We think of the memorandum of under-
standing program as providing opportunities for that to happen.”
APA signed its first memorandum of understanding with the
Psychological Society of South Africa in 1998. Since then, APA has
signed agreements with associations in a dozen other countries:
Australia, China, Colombia, Cuba, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Norway,
Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The partners have visited each other’s offices and participated
in joint symposia at international psychology conferences. Plans
are underway for developing collaborative continuing-education
programs and a leadership network that might facilitate getting
psychological research to policymakers or address leadership
pipeline issues in psychology.
A “learning partner” model undergirds the program, says
“This is not about APA or psychologists from the United
States going out into the world to give something,” she explains.
“It’s about psychologists from the United States learning with and
from other psychologists in countries around the world.”
“But there are more psychologists in Latin America than
in the United States, more psychologists in Europe than in
the United States and the number of psychologists is growing
rapidly in Asia and Africa,” she says. “It’s really important that we
understand that there are multiple different perspectives and that
we cannot assume that models developed in the United States
provide universal explanations for behavior everywhere.”
The Affordable Care Act is facilitating another type of uniting
that Kaslow wants to see more of — the coming together of
psychologists and other health-care professionals.
“The whole notion of patient-centered medical homes, for
example, is very much about having integrated, collaborative
teams working together and bringing different perspectives as
equal partners, including being equal partners with patients and
families,” she says.
The patient-centered medical home exemplifies what Donna
Rasin-Waters, PhD, calls the “big win” of health-care reform: the
integration of physical and mental health.
“We’re no longer separating out mental health and substance
abuse and physical health but really uniting and integrating
treatment for the patient as a whole person with multiple aspects
to their health care,” says Rasin-Waters, a clinical psychologist and
neuropsychologist at the Veterans Affairs Harbor Health Center
in Brooklyn, N. Y.
That merging will improve patient care, says Rasin-Waters. It
will also advance scientific progress.
“We have a lot to offer medical professionals and vice versa,”
In collaboration with the Association of American Medical
she says. “It’s really a rich environment to do a lot of translational
research, cross-checking of data, understanding the patient from
their perspective and culture and really sharing that.”
APA is already working to ensure that future generations of
health-care professionals benefit from psychological science.
Colleges (AAMC), APA is creating the first-ever psychological
science collection within AAMC’s MedEdPORTAL, an online
repository of health education teaching and assessment resources.
The new collection will include peer-reviewed health
education models, non-peer-reviewed innovations being
developed and tested at health institutions and online
MedEdPORTAL is a major teaching resource for medical
schools, dentistry schools and other health-care training
programs, says Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, executive director of APA’s
“Creating this portfolio is an important way to promote the
use of psychological science by other health professionals,” says
Belar. “It’s also important because it supports the scholarship of
teaching through a peer review process.”
For Kaslow, the MedEdPORTAL initiative is just another
example of the kind of uniting she’d like to encourage during her
“To effectively integrate science, practice, education and the
public interest, we must have respect for what we have to offer
and what others have to offer, be willing to learn from them while
also offering our strengths and working jointly with them,” she
says. “In sports, there’s a saying, ‘It takes teamwork to make the
dream work.’” n
Rebecca A. Clay is a writer in Washington, D.C.
“Communitarianism means that we’re in this together,
that we’re responsible not just for ourselves but for other
psychologists. It’s another way of talking about connecting
people with each other in really meaningful ways.”
NADINE J. KASLOW