He also praised the publication for its "reader-friendly" style, first-class authors and columnists, concentration on clinical practice issues rather than esoteric subjects, and diligent peer review process.
"Psychiatric Times is, to my knowledge, the only psychiatric newspaper in which nearly all major educational articles undergo peer review, and in which psychiatrists and other doctoral-level clinicians author most of the featured educational pieces," he said. "I know from first hand experience that PT's peer review process is far from pro forma; we often have several 'go arounds' with would-be authors before a piece is finally accepted for publication, though this [process] may not be widely appreciated."
In future issues, Pies expects to see PT cover more conferences and symposia, "with greater breadth of reporting than we have thus far been able to provide (despite the wonderful coverage of various meetings from my friend and mentor, Dr. Frank Ayd)."
He also hopes to see more exploration of controversial areas in the field, such as the unique role, among mental health professionals, filled by psychiatrists; the role of the pharmaceutical industry (both good and not-so-good) in shaping physicians' perspectives on medication prescribing; the issue of psychiatry and "civil liberties" in the United States and in other countries; and the perpetual issues involving managed care.
Pies brings all of his education and experience to his new position. He was educated at Cornell University and then continued his studies at the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he received his M.D. degree and completed his residency in psychiatry.
He has been director of psychopharmacology and research at Bay Cove Mental Health Center in Massachusetts; staff psychiatrist and director of psychopharmacology at Harry Solomon Mental Health Center in Massachusetts; and lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard University School of Medicine, among other positions.
Devoted readers of Pies' columns, "Psychiatric Medicine" and "Clinical Puzzles," will be relieved to know that he will periodically contribute columns and will write occasional editorials.
He credits PT with being the launching point for his "second career" as a fiction writer, with giving him a venue for communicating his ideas and theories to colleagues and with challenging him to stay abreast of changes in the field.