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Information on Host City and Meeting Highlights
Enlightening Sessions, Exciting City Make APA's Annual Meeting a Must
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 4 page 2-65

Let Georgia be on your mind as you peruse this issue of Psychiatric News, and plan on coming to Atlanta in May for APA's 2005 annual meeting. Indeed, no less than the "Athens of the South" is hosting this year's annual meeting, and whether you were among the record-breaking crowd at last year's meeting in New York or haven't attended a meeting in a year or two, this is not the year to sit at home from May 21 to 26: you'll find many outstanding educational opportunities and related events that together make up a high-quality and cost-effective way to earn CME credit while catching up with friends and networking with the field's leaders.

If you haven't done so already, register now for the meeting (see box on page 4). APA members can save on fees by registering before April 23.

APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., has selected the theme" Psychosomatic Medicine: Integrating Psychiatry and Medicine" for this year's meeting to highlight the newest subspecialty in our profession—it won sub-specialty approval in 2003, and the first certification exams are scheduled for June. Psychiatrists in this subspecialty care for patients with comorbid medical and psychiatric illness—in other words, they provide treatment for the "whole person." In actual practice, however, all psychiatrists provide this kind of care—for each patient we see, we must take into account any medical illnesses the patient has at the start of psychiatric treatment, including those with an underlying psychiatric component, and be vigilant for problems that may develop after treatment begins or as a side effect of treatment.

Working with Dr. Riba, the Scientific Program Committee and annual meeting staff have put together a program to offer you the latest clinical and research advances that highlight the intersection of psychiatry and medicine.

Moreover, we are pleased to be able to present a special research track in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as part of the scientific program this year (see page 17). The track will use a "translational" approach in which experts will present cutting-edge information that practicing clinicians will find useful while detailing the science behind the findings.

The track will also dovetail with Dr. Riba's psychosomatic medicine theme and highlight several high-priority areas for NIMH, including genetics; molecular, cellular, and behavioral neuroscience; clinicaltrial research; and services research. Of particular note in the track are lectures by Dr. Thomas Insel, NIMH director, and Dr. Eric Kandel, winner of a Nobel Prize in 2000 for his seminal discoveries in signal transduction in the nervous system.

Two other sessions will remind us that psychiatry operates on a world stage.

One session, sponsored by APA's Council on Global Psychiatry in collaboration with the Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution Section of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), is in response to the tsunami crisis in South Asia. It is titled "Global Disaster: Psychiatric Medicine and Public Health Challenges" and will be held on Tuesday, May 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carter Center (see page 40).

The other session, sponsored by the WPA, is "Mental Health and Sub-Saharan Africa: A 21st-Century Perspective." It will be held earlier that day, at 2 p.m., at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The scientific program will begin officially on Sunday, May 22, with the opening session at the Georgia World Congress Center, headquarters for the meeting. Beginning at 5 p.m., Dr. Riba will welcome attendees and present her presidential address, and the incoming APA president, Dr. Steven Sharfstein, will respond.

At 5:30 p.m. the next day, at APA's Convocation of Fellows, Tricia Meili will present her compelling narrative as detailed in her book I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility. In 1989, after sustaining a brutal assault and being left for dead as she lay comatose, Ms. Meili embarked on a courageous recovery journey. Her inspiring story conveys the critical need for comprehensive medical and psychiatric care. She is one of more than 10 million Americans and countless others worldwide who suffer from a constellation of comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions. Her story also highlights the health impact of traumatic stress and violence during these globally troubled times. I urge you to mark your calendars to attend the Convocation.

These are just a handful of other sessions that will focus on the meeting theme:

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If you are an investigator seeking a different perspective or a problem you'd like to discuss, the research consultation format is for you. These sessions provide an opportunity for investigators to consult in small groups with outstanding senior researchers on research methods and content-area dilemmas. Among the leaders of this year's sessions are Drs. Larry Siever on personality disorders, Helen Mayberg on functional neuroimaging, and Michael Thase on mood disorders.

Dr. Deborah Hales, director of APA's Division of Education and Career Development, has assembled another outstanding series of "Focus Live" sessions. This innovative format, which complements APA's journal Focus, lets participants test their knowledge using an interactive audience response system and compare their responses with those of other audience members (see page 3).

Speaking of lifelong learning, you may want to attend "ABPN and APA Perspectives on Maintenance of Certification" to learn more about a topic that will impact the rest of your professional life. The session, to be chaired by Dr. Stephen Scheiber, executive vice president of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, will be held Tuesday, May 24, at 9 a.m. A related session also chaired by Dr. Scheiber, "ABPN Update: Certification in Psychiatry and Its Subspecialties," is aimed at psychiatry residents and will be held Wednesday, May 25, at noon.

Several noon forums planned by Dr. Leah Dickstein will highlight African-American issues in mental health. For example, Dr. Annelle Primm, director of APA's Department of Minority and National Affairs, will present a forum on mental and public health issues in the African-American community on Thursday, May 26.

Dr. Richard D'Ali, a media expert and child psychiatrist at Duke University, will moderate a debate on Monday, May 23, at 9 a.m. on whether second-generation antipsychotics are superior in safety and efficacy to first-generation antipsychotics.

There are numerous reasons to attend APA's 2005 meeting in Atlanta, from the city's cultural attractions and culinary indulgences for which the South is well known to unparalleled opportunities to learn about the latest advances in psychiatry and catch up with friends. This article only skims the surface of what the meeting has to offer, but this issue—and future articles in Psychiatric News—will lay out additional compelling reasons why you should have Georgia on your mind and register now for the meeting.▪

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