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Assembly's 2007 Election
CANDIDATE FOR RECORDERGary Weinstein, M.D.
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 8 page 9-9
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Hard work has been second nature for me starting at an early age. A combination of scholarship money and four years of work/study efforts helped pay for college, and loans and hospital jobs paid the bills for medical school.

During the period I attended the University of Alabama Medical School, psychiatry was not held in high regard. When revealing a desire to be a psychiatrist, I was told "psychiatry is what you do when you don't want to hurt someone." That was not the case at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where I became chief resident.

I was hired as a faculty member at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and after several formative years running the Outpatient Clinic at the University of Louisville Hospital, I went into private practice. I have been a teacher of medical students and residents over the years and now am a clinical associate professor.

I divide my day seeing both inpatients and outpatients and in the past have had work experiences including five years as a director of an inpatient unit, a chemical dependency group leader with ASAM certification, and even for a time the director of a mental health management group. Seeing a significant geriatric population, I am certified with added qualifications in geriatric psychiatry.

I met my wife when we were both crisis-center volunteers in my third year in medical school. She is obviously a saint to still love and care for me for 31 years, and we have three terrific children whose various needs are still a priority.

I am an active volunteer in the community and on several boards including the Kentucky Mental Health Association. I teach Tai Chi to seniors twice weekly and am also a hospice volunteer.

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It is an honor to be a candidate for recorder of the Assembly, a wonderful institution I have served for 18 years with passion and dedication. As an Area representative, I have been privileged to guide Area activities, and as the chair of the Committee on Planning, I have facilitated decisions ranging from the smallest Assembly details to long-range-planning issues. Continuous innovation and improvement, asking tough questions, consensus building, and mutual respect have been hallmarks of both leadership roles. Because this is a critical time in our profession, I have been actively working with Assembly leadership and the APA Board on scope-of-practice issues and equitable access to psychiatric care. I continue to fight aggressively any interference in our practicing the best quality medicine possible. By authoring a number of action papers with those in other Areas and founding the Assembly District Branch Best Practices Award, I have proven my commitment for sharing information and inclusiveness. I am a true believer in the collective wisdom of the Assembly and how our diversity and energy effectively represent membership.

The recorder of the Assembly performs not just bookkeeping functions but also tracks action papers. Action papers are the lifeblood of what we do, and when an author spends time and energy in its crafting, he or she deserves to have it follow its proper procedure to the end. As the author of action papers who at times saw them "disappear," I am determined to make sure that does not happen.

In my full-time private practice it has gotten tougher to practice the kind of medicine I was originally trained to do. In recent years my income has decreased while my expenses have increased. The people and procedures that require time away from direct patient care keep multiplying. The people who want to do what we do through legislation without medical school or residency training also keep multiplying. It is easy to be frustrated, even infuriated; even worse, many people become discouraged. Often they say, "I'll just practice the best medicine I can, and things will work out." We in the Assembly know that won't work. Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people could change the world; indeed they are the only ones who ever have." To me, that group of thoughtful, committed people is the Assembly, and particularly when we partner with others in APA, along with other professional organizations and patient-advocacy groups, we have made a tremendous difference in patient care and improved the quality of psychiatric practice.

In the years that I have been on the Assembly Executive Committee and chair of the Committee on Planning, I have done my best to help the Assembly and everyone attending accomplish goals and move forward. Now, though, I ask for your vote to continue to work with you and for you for the good of our patients and our profession. Thank you.

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