Fall 2017 Issue
By Joe Mason, MD, MSW, DFAPA
Joe Mason, MD
Happy summer to everyone and hope your vacations weren't impeded by power failures. The fall will be here by the time this comes out and we're looking forward to meeting up in Virginia Beach in October. In the meantime, a few updates and comments.
The APA is very pleased with the confirmations of both Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz as Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Dr. Jerome Adams as Surgeon General. Dr. McCance-Katz is a long time member of the APA. Dr. Adams spearheaded a project to contain Indiana's opiate epidemic through a needle exchange program while serving as the state health commissioner. Each of these choices is broadly endorsed and respected by all who know their work.
As we now embark on a mission to decide if we can truly collaborate as a nation to determine the most effective and fair healthcare delivery system, our abilities as advocates for conflict resolution are more necessary than ever. Let's remember to maintain our composure even when others around us are losing theirs and do our best to promote rational discourse and decision-making, which seem elusive sometimes.
The issue of psychologist prescribing continues to be contentious with six states having already implemented programs, while Oregon recently defeated a bill for it. There has been a question raised in the overlap between the federal and state systems by virtue of psychologists having privileges and licenses in New Mexico and working in the VA or DOD and actually practicing in, and potentially being supervised by, psychiatrists in Virginia at a VA or DOD facility. Stay tuned. Nurse Practitioners now have prescribing privileges in over half the country and here at home, we have had several requests from the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) for psychiatrists willing to supervise NPs in Surry, Pulaski and possibly other parts of the state. We want to encourage anyone who is interested in doing so, either in person or perhaps via telemedicine, to contact us here at PSV and we will link you to MSV. MSV hopes to connect these providers with psychiatrists, but the default position would be to have FPs or internists do it. It's a difficult situation considering our desires to limit scope of practice, but the reality is that 80% of antidepressants and anxiolytics are prescribed by non-psychiatrists. We have to think about opportunities to be a greater influence over how mental health treatment is rendered.
Dr. Anita Everett, APA President, is encouraging us to be aware of the potential for burnout as a major theme in her year as leader. As fitting for these times of turmoil, we will use the Fall Meeting to address the subject of Disruption: Managing in a World of Chaos. We have an excellent panel of speakers, including Dr. Mike Camp speaking on PTSD, Dr. Andy Thomson speaking on suicide risk assessment, Dr. Ananda Pandurangi presenting on yoga and mindfulness, Dr. Varun Choudhary and Dr. Allison Jackson on resiliency, Colonel David Benedek with an update on the Army Staars Program and Dr. Sherry Todd will wrap up with a talk on hope in the treatment of traumatic stress.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Virginia Beach in October.
October 27-28, 2017
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel
& Conference Center
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Are you accepting new patients?
Opt into APA’s “Find A Psychiatrist” database. To view the functionality or opt-in, CLICK HERE
FYI: A link for this option has been added to the PSV website so the public can find you when they are looking for help.