Spring 2019 Issue
By John Urbach, MD, DLFAPA
Our Spring 2019 Meeting (March 29-30) returned to Charlottesville for the first time in 12 years. The UVA campus was in bloom and we had an excellent and well-attended gathering. Our theme, “The Doctor is In”, focused on the medical contributions of psychiatrists in many areas: helping our own patients to address their general health needs; partnering with primary care to improve overall adherence and outcomes; working on multi-specialty teams to treat complex and challenging cases; and lending our special skills during severe illness. We also learned about ethical and legal situations that jointly challenge psychiatry and our partner specialties. And we heard how advocating for our profession becomes more powerful when we ally with the larger medical community. Our speakers were seasoned clinicians, with added expertise in consult/liaison work, pediatrics, geropsychiatry, academic administration, and public policy.
During the Friday evening reception, we were able to meet and hear Dr. S. Hughes Melton, a distinguished family practitioner, addictions treatment specialist, medical educator, and current Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). Dr. Melton spoke to us about the impact of Medicaid expansion and the many efforts to improve mental health access. A special honor, the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, was presented to Richard L. Merkel, Jr., MD, PhD, of the UVA faculty. On Saturday. Dr. Owen Brodie, Past President of PSV (1977), received the 2019 Appreciation Award for his many contributions to our profession, our district branch and the Medical Society of Virginia.
Our Fall 2019 Meeting will return to Virginia Beach on October 4-5, a pleasant and uncrowded time to visit our coast. The theme, “Personalized Psychiatry: Science and Stratified Treatment,” is a deliberate echo of the growing field of personalized (or precision) medicine, which seeks to go beyond standard algorithms, using genetics, imaging and specific life-event data to individually tailor more effective treatments. We will be hearing from one of the world’s leading researchers in psychiatric genetics; from experts in schizophrenia treatment, brain imaging, the impacts of adverse life events and from authorities on pharmacogenomics and on specific curative factors in psychotherapy. We will also be treated to a wide range of psychiatric resident poster presentations from programs across the state and hearing from each of them about their work.
As a reminder, our semi-annual meetings provide more than CME credits. They are a chance to gather as colleagues, catch up on our lives and work and support each other personally and professionally. We look forward to seeing you again.
October 4-5, 2019
Sheraton Virginia Beach
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