Farewell-and Welcome

Aug 27, 2009

The editorial board and staff of Psychiatric Times wish to announce, with much regret, the retirement of Max Fink, MD, from our journal’s editorial board. Dr Fink-who is emeritus professor of psychiatry and neurology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook-has been a valued member of our board since 2002, and a regular contributor to the journal for many years before that.

The editorial board and staff of Psychiatric Times wish to announce, with much regret, the retirement of Max Fink, MD, from our journal’s editorial board. Dr Fink-who is emeritus professor of psychiatry and neurology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook-has been a valued member of our board since 2002, and a regular contributor to the journal for many years before that.

Dr Fink is probably best known as one of the nation’s foremost proponents of ECT and as the author of a column on convulsive therapies in this journal. Fewer readers may be aware of Dr Fink’s important contributions in other critical areas of psychiatry, such as his pioneering studies of quantitative analysis of EEGs, delirious mania, catatonia, and melancholia.

Dr Fink collaborated with Michael Alan Taylor, MD, to produce 2 highly regarded textbooks: Catatonia: A Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment1; and Melancholia: The Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Depressive Illness.2 Drs Taylor and Fink helped demonstrate the efficacy of ECT in various types of catatonia and laid the foundation for regarding melancholia as a distinct and treatable syndrome. Perhaps even fewer colleagues are aware that despite his association with “biological psychiatry,” Dr Fink also received a certificate in psychoanalysis from the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry in 1953.

We cannot do justice, in this short space, to the richness and depth of Dr Fink’s contributions to psychiatry. Much more on his remarkable career is available in a 2005 interview with Dr Fink.3 We wish to express our deep gratitude to Dr Fink for his many contributions, his invaluable teaching, and his unflagging collegial support these many years. We wish him the very best in his retirement.

Welcome Drs Osser, Ghaemi, and Geppert

We also wish to announce, with great pleasure, that Drs David N. Osser, Seyyed Nassir Ghaemi, and Cynthia M. A. Geppert have recently joined our journal’s editorial board.

David Osser, MD, brings to the board more than 33 years of exper-tise in psychopharmacology. A graduate of the medical school at SUNY in Syracuse, Dr Osser began his career at Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, Taunton State Hospital, and in private practice in Needham, Mass. He has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 1976 and in 1999 was promoted to his current position as associate professor of psychiatry.

Along the way, he has served as a national and international psychopharmacology consultant and authored numerous original articles, chapters, educational content on Web sites, and algorithms on pharmacotherapy for patients with various mental illnesses.

Dr Osser has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” for several years running from the Harvard South Shore Residency Training Program, and the Rothstein Award for his dedication and service to severely mentally ill patients and their families. He also received an “Exemplary Psychiatrist” award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and another from the Kantar Foundation/US Agency for Healthcare Quality for “exemplary journalistic work” that “fosters knowledge about the benefits of collecting data on health outcomes so patients and clinicians can use scientific, evidence-based information to guide their treatment decisions.”

Among those of us who pay close attention to research design and methods, Dave is affectionately known as “Doctor Evidence-Based Medicine”-but his reputation as an excellent teacher and humane clinician must be noted in equal measure.

Seyyed Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH, brings to the readers of Psychiatric Times his expertise in the treatment of mood disorders. Dr Ghaemi is professor of psychiatry and also director of the mood disorders and psychopharmacology programs at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr Ghaemi earned his MD at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, an MA in philosophy from Tufts University, and an MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of a number of societies, including Physicians for Human Rights and the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry. He is a popular speaker at seminars and conferences in this country and abroad, and has won numerous awards and honors, most recently for writing the “best review article of the year” on antidepressants in bipolar disorder-his main research focus.4 A prolific author, Dr Ghaemi has lectured frequently on truth and statistics to help clinicians critically evaluate clinical research. His column on this topic, “Why You Cannot Believe Your Eyes,” appears on page 50 of this issue. He is the author of The Concepts of Psychiatry,5Mood Disorders: A Practical Guide,6A Clinician’s Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health,7 and the forthcoming The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model.8

Dr Ghaemi is also deeply engaged in exploring the history and philosophy of psychiatry, particularly the work of Karl Jaspers. Those of us who are privileged to call Nassir a friend are astonished that someone so relentlessly productive is also so open and available to teach, advise, and support his colleagues.

Cynthia Geppert, MD, PhD, has long been affiliated with Psychiatric Times. Her essays that have appeared in this journal for well over a decade are posted on www.psychiatrictimes.com. It is a pleasure to welcome her to our board.

Dr Geppert has a broad array of interests. Her publications focus on a variety of topics, including clinical and academic work in consultation psychiatry, addiction ethics, medical education, medicine and the humanities, religion and spirituality, pain management, palliative care, and dual-diagnosis psychopharmacology.

Dr Geppert did her medical training at the University of Texas in San Antonio and completed a psychiatric residency and an ethics and consultation psychiatry fellowship at the University of New Mexico. She is board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, psychosomatic medicine, and pain management and addiction medicine. She holds an MA in religious ethics from Vanderbilt University, a PhD in religious ethics from the International Reform University, and an MPH from the A. T. Still University School of Health Management. She recently coedited The Book of Ethics: Expert Guidance for Professionals Who Treat Addiction.9

Currently, Dr Geppert is chief of consultation psychiatry and ethics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where she is also associate professor of psychiatry and director of ethics education. She is on the faculty of the religious studies program of the University of New Mexico. Dr Geppert is a fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and in 2006 was the recipient of the Hearts and Hands Award from the secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Cindy has been one of the most prominent and respected proponents of integrating the scientific and humanistic traditions in psychiatry. She has recently coauthored a letter on the need for a broad-based curriculum for psychiatric residents.10

Please join us in congratulating Dr Geppert on her recent marriage-and in welcoming her and Drs Osser and Ghaemi to our editorial board.

References:

References


1.

Fink M, Taylor MA.

Catatonia: A Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment.

New York: Cambridge University Press; 2003.

2.

Taylor MA, Fink M.

Melancholia: The Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Depressive Illness.

New York: Cambridge University Press; 2006.

3.

Kaplan A. Through the

Times

with Max Fink, MD.

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/52281

. Accessed August 5, 2009.

4.

Ghaemi SN. Hippocrates and Prozac: the controversy about antidepressants in bipolar disorder.

Prim Psychiatry.

2006.

http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/ArticleDetail.aspx?articleid=751

. Accessed August 5, 2009.

5.

Ghaemi SN, McHugh PR.

The Concepts of Psychiatry: A Pluralistic Approach to the Mind and Mental Illness.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2007.

6.

Ghaemi SN.

Mood Disorders: A Practical Guide.

2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2008.

7.

Ghaemi SN.

A Clinician’s Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health: Measuring Truth and Uncertainty.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2009.

8.

Ghaemi SN.

The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. In press.

9.

Geppert CM, Roberts LW, eds.

The Book of Ethics: Expert Guidance for Professionals Who Treat Addiction.

Center City, MN: Hazelden Publishing; 2008.

10.

Pies R, Geppert CM. Psychiatry encompasses much more than clinical neuroscience.

Acad Med.

In press.

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