"This is your association and your profession," APA
President Michelle Riba, M.D., said in her Opening Session speech. "Your
support, your ideas, your energy—these are the elements that have made
for a spectacular year as your president, and I thank you."
Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health:"
Where [genome research] may take us is to a very different vision of
what psychiatry could look like in a postgenomic era. We are talking about
moving us from where we currently diagnose by symptoms and treat empirically
to an era where we really do understand something about the molecular
pathophysiology of [psychiatric] disorders."
New APA fellows and distinguished fellows are inducted at the
Convocation of Fellows. This year's convocation speaker was Trisha Meili, the"
Central Park jogger." Her difficult journey to recovery
demonstrates the value of psychosomatic medicine (see
Several hundred annual meeting goers, including Syed Ali, M.D., of
Wheaton, Ill. (foreground), turn out to hear Insel deliver APA's Judd Marmor
Award Lecture, "Psychiatry in the Genomic Era."
Twins Willow and Samuel Geller tour the exhibit area as they attend
their first APA annual meeting with their parents, Wendy Hutchinson and Ian
Jagannathan Srinivasaraghavan, M.D. (center), introduces Thomas Osinowo,
M.D., to Geetha Jayaram, M.D., former chair of the Scientific Program
Virtual-reality technology gives psychiatrists a chance to experience
visual and auditory hallucinations similar to those that patients with
schizophrenia might endure.
The American Psychiatric Press Inc. bookstore, the largest area in the
exhibit hall's Publishers Row, draws a sizable crowd at every annual meeting.
This year bookstore visitors had about 450 titles from which to
Incoming APA President Steven Sharfstein, M.D., exhorts members to take
an active role in reforming the country's troubled mental health system."
If you share my concern about our profession and its future, I urge you
to become more involved in APA....Become active at local and national levels,
and advocate. This is not just a goal worthy of our profession—it is the
only goal worthy of our profession. Let us all `give back through
For six days in May, more than 17,000 psychiatrists and others learned that
the notion of Southern hospitality is far more than a long-lived stereotype as
they sampled Atlanta's diverse cultural offerings, dining choices from haute
to down home, and rich history during APA's 2005 annual meeting.
And that was just the icing on a meeting that provided hundreds of
opportunities to learn the latest in cutting-edge brain science and every
imaginable aspect of the field of psychiatry from starting a practice to
closing one, and from treating children to treating the elderly. Many of the
sessions focused on the meeting's theme, "Psychosomatic Medicine:
Integrating Psychiatry and Medicine," which was chosen by APA President
Michelle Riba, M.D.
In her last formal address as president, Riba highlighted the success APA
achieved in the last 12 months in several key areas such as improving mental
health on college campuses, strengthening psychiatric education, and battling
psychologists' push for prescribing privileges.
Her successor, Steven Sharfstein, M.D., challenged psychiatrists to place
themselves in the vanguard of reforming a health care system that has gone
badly astray. He emphasized the need for psychiatrists to engage in advocacy
that will lead to restoring patients' needs to the prominent place they merit
on the nation's health care agenda—an arena in which insurers and
pharmaceutical companies now wield far too much decision-making power.
Next year's annual meeting will move north of the border to Toronto, always
one of the most popular meeting sites with APA members.