Professional News
Child Psychiatry Fellow to Head Influential Residents’ Group
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 3 page 4-4

Psychiatrist Jessica G. Roberts, M.D., is rapidly building an impressive resumé in the medical community. She has been appointed chair-elect of the Residents and New Practicing Physicians Group (RNPP) of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and will become chair next November.

Roberts, who is a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, will have multiple responsibilities in her new capacity. As chair of RNPP, Roberts will preside over meetings of residents from medical specialty societies, develop meeting agendas, and serve as liaison to other residency organizations. "We will be discussing workforce issues such as the numbers of people entering medicine in general as well as various medical specialties," Roberts told Psychiatric News.

The CMSS was established in 1965 to provide an independent forum for medical specialists to discuss educational issues. The RNPP, one component of the CMSS, provides a medium for the education of residents and new practicing physicians of all specialties. Its members also discuss educational issues among themselves and exchange ideas with other residency organizations.

Roberts has taken an active role in improving education for residents. She is about to embark on a project with the Organization of Program Directors’ Associations (OPDA) of the CMSS to examine what residents of different specialties are taught about gifts from pharmaceutical companies, another critical issue she plans to tackle as chair of the RNPP.

"There seems to be no standard approach to what is and is not ethical, much less a standard approach to including the topic in curricula," said Roberts. She believes this is a divisive issue and that medical professionals tend to be polarized on the topic.

Roberts currently serves as chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Organization of Resident Representatives. "This is an active group that has worked on a document describing the optimal residency this past year as we looked at creating the ‘ideal learning environment’ at a teaching hospital," Roberts told Psychiatric News.

She is also a member of APA’s Committee of Residents and Fellows (CORF), which has opened her eyes to the complexities of residency training. "Working with other residents from around the country has been an enlightening experience," Roberts stated. "It has been especially interesting to see the differences in training programs across specialties and geography."

Roberts graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1994. ▪

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