From the President
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Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 4 page 3-3

As you may have already suspected, APA's 2007 annual meeting in San Diego is very important to me, and I hope it will be for you as well. I was elected APA president by 74 percent of the vote, so I not only wish but expect to see many of you in San Diego.

In this column, I will highlight the features of the 2007 annual meeting that I hope will persuade you to register for the meeting now and start making your travel plans. The program has been drafted with you in mind, around the rallying flag of "Addressing Patient Needs: Access, Parity, and Humane Care."

I have planned a series of Presidential Symposia on key topics representing some of my own scientific priorities and presidential initiatives for this year's meeting. Among them: "The APA International Symposia on the Role of Ethics in World Psychiatry," "Women Leaders in APA and Beyond," and "Current Research Advances: APA/NIMH/NIDA/NIAAA/NAMI Perspectives." Two other Presidential Symposia will be jointly held with psychiatric organizations important on the world stage—"Health Inequalities for Persons With Mental Problems and Intellectual Disabilities," in collaboraton with the Royal College of Psychiatrists; and "Focusing on European Psychiatry," in collaboration with the Association of European Psychiatrists.

The William C. Menninger Memorial Lecture at the Convocation of Fellows will be delivered by Nobel Laureate John F. Nash Jr., Ph.D., the brilliant mathematician whose experience with mental illness was depicted in the 2001 film "A Beautiful Mind" (see box on page 2). Dr. Nash's presence is a symbol of how I've approached the planning of this meeting—putting patients at the center of my theme.

At many annual meetings, one of the federal institutes collaborates with APA on presenting a special track of sessions that translate research findings into clinical practice. This year, it's the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that is working with us to present cutting-edge information on the science and treatment of addictions. Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA's director, will be one of the main lecturers in the track (see page 14). Topics include obesity and drug addiction, drug treatment in the criminal justice system, functional assessment of the adolescent brain, the role of prenatal nicotine exposure as a developmental vulnerability, and factors involved in the comorbidity of substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

The psychiatrists selected to participate in this year's Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecture Series are Dr. William Carpenter, Dr. John Krystal, Dr. Dolores Malaspina, and Dr. Leah Dickstein. Dr. Dickstein will dedicate her lecture to the late Dr. Marian Butterfield, who was active in APA since serving as the member-in-training trustee in the mid-1990s. More recently, she chaired the Scientific Program Committee for the 2004 and 2005 annual meetings. Those of us who had the privilege to know and work with her are saddened to have lost a caring friend and dedicated colleague way too soon.

Two well-known advocates for people with mental illness in the poltical arena will present lectures as part of the Outside Lecture Series: U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Kitty Dukakis, wife of former Massachusetts Gov. and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis (see page 2). Rep. Kennedy has long been a supporter of mental health parity in Congress, and Mrs. Dukakis recently published another book about her experience with mental illness, Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy.

With its rich Spanish heritage, San Diego is the ideal place to host an event that has particular meaning for me: Hispanic Day, a daylong scientific and social event that will be held Saturday, May 19 (see page 31). Symposia are being presented by APA's Committee of Hispanic Psychiatrists, American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, Latin American Psychiatric Association, and Spanish Psychiatric Society. All APA members are invited to attend; registration is free.

Another event new to the annual meeting was created with the future of psychiatry in mind. On Tuesday evening, May 22, APA's Division of Education will host a joint reception with representatives of academic departments of psychiatry. I expect this event to become a valuable addition to the meeting because it offers a rare opportunity to bring psychiatry educators together to get to know one another and thus encourage communication and exchange of ideas on an ongoing basis.

Don't forget to take some time out from scientific sessions to move your mind from the cognitive realm to the emotional: Dr. Richard Kogan will once again delight us with a piano performance and discussion of the psychological underpinnings of a musical genius in a forum on Monday, May 21, at noon. This year Dr. Kogan will perform the music of Leonard Bernstein, with particular focus on "West Side Story," and elaborate on the interplay of this great musician's mind and his compositions.

As this issue of Psychiatric News will show you, APA's 2007 annual meeting will be a memorable one. Please take time to peruse the preliminary program and learn more about the beautiful city in which you'll be staying. Remaining indoors in the San Diego Convention Center may be the biggest challenge you'll face all week!

As your president and friend, what will make me most happy is to see as many APA members as possible in San Diego in May. I look forward to this hope becoming reality. ▪

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