Editor in Chief
There was a lot to digest from the recent APA Annual Meeting in New York, and I’m still at it. There were many terrific aspects of what I believe is by far the most diverse, comprehensive, innovative, and overwhelming psychiatric convention in the world. I still remember that I felt the same way at my first APA convention in Anaheim (“Psychiatrists in Fantasyland” was the headline in Time magazine). And that program probably had about 20% of the presentations and presenters as this year’s meeting. Thanks go to this year’s scientific program chair, Linda Worley, and to Phil Muskin, current APA secretary, who during his long tenure as scientific program chair introduced many of the innovations in format from which we’ve all benefitted.
Before I get to other content, please indulge me as I take a few lines to show some avuncular pride. The Convocation of Fellows is one of the most beloved parts of the meeting, as hundreds of members are honored for their professional accomplishments. Among the most important of these recognitions are the annual Distinguished Service awards.
My heart swelled as I saw on the stage one of this year’s awardees, Michelle Riba. Most of you know Michelle as a past president of APA, a transformative leader in consultation liaison psychiatry, and the Deputy Editor of Psychiatric Times, but I know her also as one of my former trainees when I was residency director at the University of Connecticut.
A special honor is bestowed on the person selected to give the Convocation Lecture. I was filled with pride when I learned Elinore McCance-Katz was selected this year. Most of you know Ellie for her public mental health and substance abuse leadership roles in several states and as the new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse. She’s the first office holder for this newly created position, the senior administrator at SAMHSA and the highest ranking psychiatrist in the federal government. I was nearly overwhelmed during her lecture when I was mentioned as the mentor who helped her decide on a career in psychiatry during medical school and in her future career path when she was my resident at UConn.
1. Tasman A. The wrong way on a long and winding road: suicide in the US. Psychiatric Times. 2018;35(2):1, 3, 6.