C. David Jenkins, PhD, leader in the field of Behavioral Medicine, retires

C. David Jenkins, PhD, leader in the field of Behavioral Medicine, retiresWith this issue, the name of C. David Jenkins, PhD, as an executive editor of Behavioral Medicine will no longer appear on the journal's masthead. His retirement from active editorial responsibilities marks the end of an era. Dr Jenkins was an executive editor, along with Herbert Benson, MD, and Robert Haggerty, PhD, of the Journal of Human Stress from Volume 1, number 1, in 1982 until 1988, when the name of the journal was changed to Behavioral Medicine. He continued as an executive editor, with several years leave to serve as the Director of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Centre for Psychosocial Factors and Health, in Geneva, Switzerland, and has always been a staunch and enthusiastic supporter of BMED.

Dr Jenkins is a long-time leader in studying how psychosocial and behavioral factors influence health and illness and how these factors can be quantified, studied, and changed in human groups. His career has been marked by outstanding service as president of the American Psychosomatic Society (1983-1984) and as an editorial board member of Psychosomatic Medicine, the Journal of Aging and Health (US), Medicinea Psicosomatica (Italy), and Stress Medicine (United Kingdom), among others. He has published 130 journal articles, including 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine and 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). His articles in abridged form have appeared in JAMA editions in China, Germany, and Belgium.

In addition, Dr Jenkins has written 45 book chapters and 7 monographs, and published 4 tests, including the widely used Jenkins Activity Survey for Type A behavior, which has been translated into more than 15 languages; the Semantic Differential for Health; the Monthly Health Review; and the Sleep Problems Scale, with multiple translations. He has also given lectures, short courses, and presentations at research conferences in 27 countries outside the United States and spoken at professional meetings throughout the United States.

Dr Jenkins is the author of Building Better Health: A Handbook of Behavioral Changes, published by the Pan American Health Organization late in 2003. The work was issued in Spanish as Mejoremus la Salud a Todas las Edades: Un Manual para el Cambio de Comportamiento. Hailed as a "tour de force ... succinct, based on science, but understandable" by William R. Harland, MD, Past Associate Director for Disease Prevention of the National Institutes of Health, and entered in the British Medical Association's Annual Book Competitions, the book was certified Highly Commended in the public health category at a ceremony in London on November 18, 2004.

This busy and productive scientist and author has been an enthusiastic promoter of Behavioral Medicine. In his many lectures at conferences in the United States, Dr Jenkins often displayed copies of the journal or distributed fliers promoting the journal, talked about its scope, described its editorial guidelines, and encouraged researchers to subscribe and submit their work for publication. He sought new editors in the United States and abroad when he participated in professional conferences and devoted time and energy to developing the 3-part triptychs that have been a newsworthy feature of BMED for the past decade.

One of the pleasures of working with Dr Jenkins has been his ability to find reviewers for articles on diverse and sometimes unusual topics from among his many colleagues, be they former students, rising scholars, or established researchers not formerly associated with the journal. He has also recruited outstanding consulting and executive editors. His great facility as an editor has helped managing editors clarify murky prose, screen out split infinitives, and delete run-on sentences, much to the advantage and appreciation of authors, many of whom were not native English speakers.

Dr Jenkins is currently an adjunct professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also an adjunct professor of preventive medicine and community health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. Before that, he was a professor of psychiatry and Director of the Department of Behavioral Epidemiology (Division of Psychiatry), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (1972-1982) and professor (1982-1989), and Director, Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (1984-1996), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

Dr Jenkins received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and his doctorate in psychology from the University of North Carolina.

We at Behavioral Medicine will miss David Jenkins's skilled hand and delightful sense of humor and wish him great pleasure in his well-deserved retirement and future travels.

Martha Wedeman is the former managing editor of Behavioral Medicine and a long-time friend of David Jenkins.


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