Are you a general psychiatrist or primary care physician caring for
an increasing number of young patients in your practice? Do you find more
questions than answers about pediatric pharmacotherapy in the medical
literature? If you are, then mark your calendar for the Presidential Institute
at APA's 2008 annual meeting on May 4, when a group of distinguished experts
in child and adolescent psychiatry will provide a comprehensive review of
current research and clinical guidelines in pediatric psychopharmacology.
Organized by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
(AACAP), the program is designed to inform and advise general psychiatrists
and primary care physicians on practical issues they face in treating children
with psychiatric illness.
"This institute is designed to address the terrible shortage of child
psychiatrists," said APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D. "We
are collaborating with AACAP to develop these programs to answer very
practical psychopharmacology questions of general psychiatrists and
Because of a severe lack of clinical research, physicians often have to
rely on the guidelines and their experience in treating adults to"
guestimate" the appropriate drugs and doses for children. Growing
evidence suggests, however, that children are not "little adults"
and often respond to pharmacotherapy very differently from adults.
Laurence Greenhill, M.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist, will review
research evidence on pharmacotherapy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) and how the evidence influences therapeutic decisions. Among
the many research projects he has participated in, Greenhill was an
investigator in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA Study) and the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study
(PATS), both funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is
president-elect of AACAP.
Also included will be two presentations on treating pediatric mental
disorders in a primary care setting. Jefferson Prince, M.D., director of child
psychiatry at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Mass., and on the faculty
of the Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School, will talk about the
management of depression. John Walkup, M.D., an associate professor and deputy
director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins
Medical School, will discuss anxiety disorders. Adelaide Robb, M.D., an
associate professor in child and adolescent psychiatry at George Washington
University Medical School and the medical director of the Adolescent Inpatient
Psychiatry Department at Children's National Medical Center in Washington,
D.C., will present 10 key points to help primary care physicians optimize
treatment for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and pervasive developmental
disorders and aggression in young patients.
The final presentation will tie the lectures together and use clinical
cases to demonstrate the practical application of this information in
day-to-day patient care.
"I'm very excited about the program," Robinowitz said. She
urges general psychiatrists and primary care practitioners to attend the
"This is a special opportunity for physicians who treat children and
adolescents regularly in their practice. It will help them feel more confident
and comfortable in treating a variety of childhood mental illnesses from
depression to bipolar disorder, from ADHD to autism spectrum disorders."▪