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Monday, May 24, 2010

Committees, Food, Mentoring at the APA

It has been a busy, but fun time at the APA meeting and New Orleans. The meeting itself is a whirlwind of activities, academic presentations, business of the association, legislative advocacy issue, social activities, and networking. APA assembly work focused on how to address member concerns through action papers submitted by representatives from the district branches on topics such as healthcare reform, interactions with pharma, budgetary challenges of the APA among many others. While it is indeed “like sausage being made”, the activity is important to have the voice of the APA membership being heard and incorporated in the APA policy and activities. The committees such as the ones participated in such as the Scientific Program committee is where the annual meeting planning comes to fruition, and where we daily review how the meeting is going and hopefully learn from our successes and mistakes and plan for each days events.

One of the fun things I have done, other than the social activities and New Orleans food, has been to talk to medical students and trainees. I am optimistic about the future of our field. After talking to some of the speakers and audience members it seems there is a great demand for more space and time to discuss topics such suicide and SSRIs, and antipsychotic polypharmacy in interactive formats. The meeting has been off to a great start with some exciting sessions and activities coming up. We had the convocation of fellows Monday. Carrie Fisher (Princes Leia of Star Wars) was the scheduled be speaking. She is known to speak with humor and poignancy about her own experience wit h mental illness. Later this week also have Terry Bradshaw, the former Pittsburgh Steelers is going to be talking about his experience of depression at an event sponsored by the APA Foundation. For now, I am running out to the next event…………..

Iqbal “Ike” Ahmed, M.D.
Member, APA Scientific Program Committee
Deputy Rep, Hawaii

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