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James H. Bray, Ph.D.

James H. Bray, Ph.D.

Chair, Behavioral & Social Sciences
Phone: 713-743-9919


Behavioral and Social Sciences deal with many of the most complex and significant phenomena that affect people’s health. Despite the complexity, most of these phenomena are predictable and manageable, allowing physicians to favorably influence patient outcomes.

The Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences aims to prepare students to be effective physicians on the front lines of health care delivery for populations with health disparities.

You will learn to communicate and relate warmly and respectfully with patients to achieve positive outcomes, intervene with mental and behavioral disorders, work effectively in teams and develop professional practices that lead to career satisfaction and personal wellness.

Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine has taken aim at five societal issues throughout the curriculum. These issues were selected based on their impact on health in our region and the burden they place on patients, families and communities. Students will apply the knowledge and skills from the curriculum to develop solutions and respond to these problems:

  1. Improving access to care
  2. Improving health behaviors for patient well-being
  3. Recognizing depression and reducing injuries and deaths attributable to suicide
  4. Destigmatizing and effectively treating substance use disorders
  5. Combatting the impacts of adverse childhood experiences

Department Goals

Educate future physicians that will be effective practicing in the forefront of medicine. Students will learn to:

  • Understand and treat mental disorders, individually and collaboratively
  • Understand the impact of patient perceptions and needs, community resources and culture on health
  • Practice relationship-centered care
  • Practice with compassion
  • Experience meaning and joy in their education and future practice

Our students will develop a voice of advocacy and compassion and they will have the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

- Bill Elder, Ph.D., Former Chair, Behavioral & Social Sciences

Department Faculty