Featured Member: Eric Zhou, PhD
Dr. Zhou is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a Staff Psychologist at Boston Children's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and his pre-doctoral internship at Brown University Alpert Medical School. Dr Zhou is interested in how we can better understand and treat common side effects of chronic illnesses. He has presented his research investigating sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, suicidal ideation, social support, and quality of life at national and international conferences, and published over 25 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of health psychology/behavioral medicine.
Where would you like to see the field of BSM in 10 years?
I am hopeful that there will be more opportunities within training programs to educate clinical providers about behavioral sleep medicine. The lack of formal sleep medicine training in many PhD, PsyD, NP, PA, and MD programs is very unfortunate because their graduates are often are the front-line clinicians who see patients with a sleep disorder.
How did you decide to specialize in behavioral sleep medicine (what got you started, who did you decide to work with along the way)?
I was bitten by the BSM bug when I completed the sleep rotation during internship with Donn Posner. He was one of the best clinical mentors I have ever worked with. It was easy to get excited about the work when you saw how much of a difference you were making in the lives of your patients.
What is your advice to early career individuals, or those re-specializing into behavioral sleep medicine?
Even if BSM does not become your only career focus, keep an open mind to finding ways to integrate behavioral sleep medicine into your clinical or research practice. There will likely be future opportunities to use this tool from your toolkit in a range of clinical settings or within a variety of research projects.
What is your next vacation or dream vacation?
I am very excited to have the opportunity to travel to several countries in the Middle East this fall, including Jordan, Oman, and the UAE.