Ebony Lambert’s area of research, education and inequities/disparities in student health, intrigued me for many reasons. One, most anything pertaining to disparities, especially racial/ethnic issues, garners my attention. However, she also is local to Richmond (as am I) and so when she was speaking to issues in some of the schools she worked with and in, I very much, unfortunately, could picture and understand what she was talking about. I probably would have never thought about the flooring of a school and/or classroom, be it carpet or tile, and how that might effect student health if and when it is not properly maintained or replaced. It was subtleties like that that Ebony mentioned throughout that had me wanting to learn more. Additionally, the integration of health psychology and social psychology very much interested me as well as I continue to think about how I might utilize my PhD in social psych or sociology, or potentially in pursuing other (related) subject matter.
I enjoyed Dr. Olbirsch’s responses and thoughts as well. It was pretty neat to see someone who was kind of one of the pioneers of a now rapidly expanding field in health psychology sitting at the front of our classroom. I appreciated her resentment toward policy and regulations, which in many ways restrict treatments, but also restrict further discovery. I understand the IRB exists for the good of the people, but that’s also the idea behind the government and… well, I won’t say any more on that. I liked that she very frankly said it is essentially to know what you know and know what you Do Not know, and I also appreciated the term she used to encapture this thought, “cultural humility.” I wish I had better framed my question about exercise routines/treatment with her obesity patients to mention both diet and exercise because it is futile to expect weight loss when you only have/do one and not have/do the other. This is essentially wha she alluded to when responding, which I already knew it was the case. I was more so interested in how she dealt with “stubborn” patients for lack of a better word–those who know what kind of lifestyle is best for them, those who have the time to make it happen, but then still don’t do it… I’ll remember to ask another time though.