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Association News
Institute on Psychiatric Services Gets Rave Reviews, Record Attendance
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 5 page 20-20

APA's 2006 Institute on Psychiatric Services last October drew record crowds and high praise from attendees who completed an evaluation survey about the institute.

"Community psychiatrists and other mental health professionals clearly found the scientific program pertinent to their professional lives," noted Kathleen Debenham, M.A., director of APA's Department of Continuing Medical Education, in the evaluation report. "Attendees felt that what they learned at the meeting would enhance their practice."

The institute, which was held in New York City, had a total attendance of 2,263. Of that number, 1,917 were registered for scientific sessions, including 1,050 APA members; the remainder were staff, press, exhibitors, and unregistered faculty. The previous attendance record—2,181 registrants—was set in Washington, D.C., in 1997.

The scientific program, whose theme was "Trauma and Violence in Our Communities," offered nearly 130 sessions overfour days. Special events included "Celebration Recovery," which was presented by the Irwin Foundation; an executive leadership program for chief residents in psychiatry; a daylong session on homelessness and mental illness; and the session" HIV, Brain, and Behavior."

The report was based on data from 733 general evaluation surveys. Overall, 96 percent of respondents reported that sessions were "excellent," met educational objectives, and incorporated current policy issues.

Most respondents listed their primary professional activity as patient care (71 percent), or administraton (15 percent), followed by teaching (5.9 percent) and research (5.4 percent).

Respondents worked in a variety of settings, but in keeping with the clinical theme of the meeting, the highest proportion worked in a community mental health setting (16.6 percent).

Almost 14 percent were solo practitioners, and 13.5 percent worked in a psychiatric hospital.

Attendees completed Web-based general evaluation surveys at kiosks placed throughout the meeting site or from their computers before or after the meeting. Approximately 95 percent of respondents filled out their evaluation survey online, but paper forms suitable for scanning were also available.

Suggested topics for workshops at future institutes included the treatment of substance use disorders; impact of disaster and trauma, especially on child development; and increased coverage of genetics and neuropsychiatry.

The 2007 institute will be held October 11 to 14 in New Orleans. Submission information is posted at<www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/ips/07/index.cfm>.

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