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Information on Host City and Meeting Highlights
Why You Can’t Miss This Year’s Annual Meeting
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 4 page 2-82

As you look through this unusually thick issue of Psychiatric News and skim pages and pages of information about APA’s 2004 annual meeting and its host city, you may be thinking, "Is it time to register already? I’m not sure I can spare the time this year."

Banish such thoughts from your mind and immediately register for the meeting either by using the forms in your Annual Meeting Advance Registration Information packet or going to APA’s Web site at www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/am/04/index.cfm.

Why? According to Geetha Jayaram, M.D., chair of APA’s Scientific Program Committee, this year’s annual meeting will once again deliver an outstanding scientific program on a diversity of clinical and professional topics in a city with around-the-clock energy with perhaps no equal anywhere in the world. But just as important are the meeting’s intangibles, such as catching up with old friends and making new ones; discussing professional issues with experts; benefiting others by sharing your knowledge, insights, and experiences in scientific sessions; and taking a deserved break from demanding clinical, research, or academic chores.

Since the character, and perhaps even the personality, of this country has changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, these intangibles have never meant more. "To be as effective as possible the rest of the year," said Jayaram, "taking a few days in May at APA’s annual meeting to connect with colleagues and outstanding psychiatric educators is an important investment.

"With so much pressure on practitioners these days to see more patients while spending less time with them and the many hours eaten up by dealing with third-party payers," she pointed out, "we as psychiatrists are spending less time staying connected with each other."

Few places rival New York as an ideal place for a convention of this scope and magnitude. In fact, whenever APA has held an annual meeting in New York in the past two decades, the attendance figure breaks previous records.

To APA members who have contributed to breaking those attendance records, the city’s steady beat and bounty of cultural and culinary attractions won’t disappoint this time around. This issue of Psychiatric News will remind those members about all that New York has to offer and entice first-time visitors to make exploring this world-class city an important part of their annual meeting experience.

"New York is the perfect location for this year’s annual meeting," continued Jayaram, an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, "but it’s only one of the reasons that members should come. This year’s theme, selected by APA President Marcia Goin, M.D., is ‘Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology: Dissolving the Mind-Brain Barrier.’ This theme represents the eventual and inevitable melding of different aspects of psychiatric science to reach a greater understanding of the etiology of mental illness and create more effective and targeted treatments. The merging of mind and brain is no longer a science-fiction ideal."

Goin expounds on her choice of theme in her president’s column on the facing page. Related to that theme is a special Presidential Forum in which the film "I Am Sam" will be shown and discussed by writer-director-producer Jesse Nelson. The forum will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in the Astor Ballroom on the seventh floor of the Marriott Marquis.

Goin has also made arrangements for three presidential symposia on issues to which she has devoted her APA presidency and advocacy work: "The Biopsychosocial Model: Myth or Reality?" on Monday, May 3; "Wither Go the States: The Impact of Budget Cuts" on Tuesday, May 4; and "Reconstructing Postwar Mental Health Services," cosponsored by the World Psychiatric Association, on Wednesday, May 5. All sessions will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (see page 4 for locations).

Jayaram is particularly excited about a special track of sessions planned and organized with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (see page 32). According to NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., this track will sharpen clinicians’ skills at diagnosing and treating patients with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

Those who want an overview of the latest and most clinically relevant advances in psychiatry and related areas of medicine should be sure to attend the following two sessions. "Frontiers in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders," sponsored by APA’s Scientific Program Committee and Council on Research, will be held on Monday, May 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Special Events Hall 1D on level 1 of the Javits Center. It will be chaired by Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO of New York Presbyterian Hospital and a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "Research Advances in Medicine: The Epidemiology and Treatment of Psychiatric Comorbidities" will be held Tuesday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 1E09 on level 1 of the Javits Center. This session, to be chaired by Jayaram, is part of the special NIDA track.

A new format introduced at last year’s annual meeting has been expanded for this year’s meeting—"Focus Live." This format is composed of three 90-minute sessions on topics that have been covered in APA’s new journal, Focus: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. The goal of this peer-reviewed journal is to help psychiatrists stay up to date on the latest information on a wide range of psychiatric disorders and maintain board certification. Subscription information is available by calling (703) 907-7322 or (800) 368-5777 or by sending an e-mail to appi@psych.org.

The "Focus Live" sessions were especially popular last year because of the use of an interactive audience response system, which will be used again this year. Experts who served as guest editors of Focus will lead lively discussions based on multiple-choice questions that the audience will answer using hand-held devices. Responses will be instantly tallied and projected on the screen. Deborah Hales, M.D., director of APA’s Division of Education, Minority, and National Programs, and Mark Rapaport, M.D., of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will serve as co-chairs.

All three "Focus Live" sessions will be held on Monday, May 3, in room 1E14 on level 1 of the Javits Center. The first, "Ethical Issues in Psychiatry" will be held at 9 a.m.; "PTSD and Anxiety Disorders: Test Your Knowledge" will be held at 11 a.m.; and "Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders" will be held at 2 p.m.

While Jayaram noted that the Scientific Program Committee is still lining up outside lecturers for the meeting, so far of interest are best-selling author and New Journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe, who has agreed to present this year’s William C. Menninger Memorial Lecture at the Convocation of Fellows on Monday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m. in Hall 3E on level 3 of the Javits Center, and ABC news anchor and former Clinton aide George Stephanapolous. Stephanapolous will discuss his experience with depression at a special event sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation on Tuesday, May 4.

Always popular among meetings goers are the debates. This year’s debate, "Resolved: The Residency Review Committee Should Continue to Require That Psychiatric Residency Programs Must Demonstrate That the Residents Have Achieved Competency in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy," will be held on Monday, May 3, at 9 a.m. in room 1E10, level 1, Javits Center. Affirmative team members Allan Tasman, M.D., and Lisa Mellman, M.D., will square off against Joel Yager, M.D., and Eugene Rubin, M.D.

The annual meeting also gives APA members an opportunity to update themselves in various areas of general medicine. These sessions have become increasingly important because of the growing body of knowledge demonstrating what psychiatrists have long known—that the mind and body are inextricably linked. This year’s topics are irritable bowel syndrome, what’s new regarding hepatitis B and C, having better sex naturally, and "shrinking" obesity.

Special scientific sessions and events for meeting goers who share particular interests or are in the same career stage have also been planned for APA members, including members-in-training and fellows and the APA Lifers.

More information on the meeting, including registration and housing reservation forms and travel information, appears in the Annual Meeting Advance Registration Information packet that was mailed to all APA members last month. If you did not get one, call APA’s Answer Center at (888) 35-PSYCH. Information and forms are also posted on APA’s Web site at www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/am/04/index.cfm.

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