All Things Being Equal: A Challenge to the Status Quo


New and noteworthy sessions fill the program at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, which enters its second year as a virtual session.

racial equity, brain health, news, mental health, psychiatry



The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting will enter its second year in a row as a virtual session, starting from May 1 and ending May 3, 2021. The core message, "Finding Equity Through Advances in Mind and Brain in Unsettled Times," mirrors the overarching themes that emerged this and last year both in the news and in medicine.

With over 130 educational presentations to choose from, topics will range from social issues such as equality, racism, and health equity, to trauma and PTSD resulting from mass shootings and the pandemic.

Several editorial board members of Psychiatric TimesTM, considered key leaders in psychiatry, will be presenting, chairing, or moderating throughout the weekend. Among them:

• In the session titled "Race, Religion, and Equity: Implications for Psychiatry," editorial board member H. Steven Moffic, MD, and advisory board member Ahmed Hankir, MD, will present on structural racism, conscious and unconscious bias, and other issues as they relate to psychiatric practice. Diversity & Inclusion Editor, Frank Clark, MD, will moderate in this important session.

• John Torous, MD, MBI, digital psychiatry editor, will be involved in 2 presentations: "Harnessing Digital Technology to Bring About Long-Term Recovery from {FEP]" and "Three New Tools to Augment Care for People With Serious Mental Illness."

• "Scope of Practice: The Evolution of Physician-Only Paradigm in Psychiatry" will be chaired by Michelle Riba, MD, deputy editor in chief. Dr Riba will be a speaker in a presentation titled "The #MeToo Movement: Implications for Psychiatrists."

• "Caring for Older Adults With Mental Health Disorders and Dementia: American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s Response to ]the Pandemic]," with Rajesh R. Tampi, MS, MD, DFAPA, Geriatric Psychiatry Section Editor of Psychiatric TimesTM. Dr Tampi will receive the 2021 Jack Weinberg Memorial Award in Geriatric Psychiatry. The award, instituted in 1983, recognizes a psychiatrist who has devoted their career to psychiatry, exemplifies leadership, and goes above and beyond in the areas of clinical practice, educational training and mentorship, and important research.

• Editorial Board member Philip R. Muskin, MA, MD's sessions include "Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry: Career Transitions in Academic Psychiatry"; "Educating and Supporting the Mental Health Workforce"; and "Treatment of Severe Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders: What Do You Do If First-Line Treatments Don’t Work?" The latter session is chaired by Katharine A. Phillips, MD, also on the editorial board.

In addition to Q&As, lectures, 3 plenary sessions, and a virtual poster hall, noteworthy speakers include:

Keynote Speaker Anthony Fauci, MD: The William C. Menninger Memorial Lecture. Dr Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and trailblazed efforts to fight the pandemic and the HIV/AIDs crisis. The Convocation and William C. Menninger Memorial Lecture takes place on May 2 at 10 AM.,

• Opening session speaker Isabel Wilkerson will discuss Our Racial Moment of Truth. Wilkerson is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer-Prize in journalism and author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.

• The Rev James Lawson, who taught both Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Rep. John Lewis, talk about “Psychology of Racism and Nonviolence."

• The closing session takes place on May 3 at 10 AM. The keynote speaker is Robert M. Sapolsky, PhD, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor and Professor of Neurology and of Neurosurgery at Stanford University.

Additional speakers of note are Avrim Fishkind, MD, and Gonzalo J. Perez-Garcia, MD, who will talk about equity and ethics, as well as the future of telepsychiatry; Edmond Hsin T. Pi, MD, is covering mental health and racism in the Asian American population; and several other sessions will discuss structural racism, reparations and health equity, as well as the climate crisis and substance abuse.

To learn more and register, visit: For daily updates, follow @psychtimes on Twitter, the hashtag #APAAM21, and @APAPsychiatric for minute-by-minute scheduling and announcements. Daily updates will be shared on the Psychiatric TimesTM APA Conference page.

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