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From the President
Meeting Highlights a Field With Much to Celebrate
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 4 page 3-20

APA's 2010 annual meeting will be a superb blend of science, clinical pearls, and entertaining sessions in a city where the lively nightlife, cultural diversity, and good food are the stuff of legend. The Scientific Program Committee has done a great job under the leadership of the co-chairs, Julio Licinio, M.D., and Donald Hilty, M.D.

I selected "Pride and Promise: Toward a New Psychiatry" as the meeting's theme. I think you'll find the program stronger than ever this year, reflecting a combination of information and fun. In a departure from previous years, we will have a greater blend of invited and member-generated sessions; to that end, we were fortunate to have been able to call on our academic leaders to help us screen and propose programs as we developed a comprehensive and balanced program. As a result, we have invited the best psychiatrist-scientists from around the world to teach us about their work in special lectures and scientific symposia.

One key point to note is that in response to many of you, we will start the meeting on Saturday morning, May 22, and end on Wednesday afternoon, May 26. So please plan to arrive so you can take advantage of the full program. Also, the official Opening Session and Convocation will be held in the early evening on Sunday and Monday, respectively (see New Schedule for the Annual Meeting!).

We are delighted to be partnering once again with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to show how cutting-edge science on substance use disorders is informing clinical practice (see Addiction-Related Brain Discoveries Advance Clinical Practice). Lectures by its director, Nora Volkow, M.D., and A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, are headlining the NIDA track.

Senior scholars such as Daniel Weinberger, M.D., Florian Holsboer, M.D., Ph.D., Eve Johnstone, M.D., Mario Maj, M.D., Ph.D., Raquel Gur, M.D., Ph.D., and Francene Benes, M.D., Ph.D., will address us on their exciting work in depression and schizophrenia. We will also have some of the top young M.D./Ph.D.s from around the country—such as Karl Deisseroth, Kerry Ressler, Vikaas Sohol, Amit Etkin, and others—show us where the field is heading.

The tragedy in Haiti calls to mind the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought on our host city nearly five years ago. Five sessions (symposia and workshops) will focus on lessons learned from the Gulf Coast response and advances in disaster psychiatry. But be prepared to discover that New Orleans has rebuilt itself and rebounded to reclaim its position among world-class conference locations (see Hope Edges Out Despair as Recovery Moves Forward). Attendees at other national conferences held there have proclaimed that the Big Easy is back in business for those attending professional meetings.

The popular FocusLive series—interactive learning at its best—returns with three sessions focusing on sleep and sexual disorders, psychotherapy, and genetics and genomics. Also, the successful Advances In series, which is in partnership with American Psychiatric Publishing Inc., will be reprised with sessions chaired by leading researchers and authors. Topics include forensics (chaired by Robert Simon, M.D.), psychotherapeutic treatments (Glen Gabbard, M.D.), substance abuse treatment (Marc Galanter, M.D., and Herbert Kleber, M.D.), and personality disorders (John Oldham, M.D., and Andrew Skodol, M.D.) Other sessions for which chairs have not been designated yet are on correctional psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, antipsychotic medications, and family assessment and intervention.

The Scientific Program Committee has expanded the Advances in Medicine series, including the review of the "Top 10 Medical Articles of 2009." I am also pleased to note that former NIMH director and APA president Herbert Pardes, M.D., will return as chair of Advances in Research. He has organized a panel of outstanding academic and clinical psychiatric researchers to give state-of-the-art presentations regarding some of the major psychiatric disorders including disorders of children as well as schizophrenia disorders, anxiety disorders, and affective disorders.

Attendees will have the opportunity to be in the vanguard regarding DSM-5. Several sessions will give attendees insight into the evolving manual and will solicit their opinions on a number of key questions regarding proposed changes aimed at improving assessment and diagnosis.

There is also a lighter side to learning that we have not ignored. Carrie Fisher, international star of film, television, and stage and acclaimed novelist and playwright will be our Convocation speaker (see Actress Makes Most of Honors for 'Being Mentally Ill'). Her autobiographical show "Wishful Drinking" was a hit on Broadway and in regional theaters, and she has a best-selling memoir of the same title. This should be a terrific session.

Richard Kogan, M.D., back by popular demand, will present a piano forum on Chopin. We are also experimenting with evening programming, so join us for CME Media Workshops on "movie nights" (see At the Movies: Media Workshops). George Romero, director of the 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead," and Steve Schlozman, M.D., will screen and discuss the film "Repulsion" in the session "Isn't All Horror Psychological?" And you can have a rollicking good time at MindGames, where three finalist residency program teams vie for the winner's cup in a Jeopardy-style game show (see Another Round of MindGames Planned for Annual Meeting).

Look for additional articles in this and future issues of Psychiatric News on scientific sessions, special events, and our host city. The Scientific Program Committee has worked hard to craft a program not only taking stock of where we are in 2010 but charting an exciting path to future science and practice.

Start making your plans for New Orleans! blacksquare

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