A Lifetime of Learning

Psychiatric TimesVol 37, Issue 2
Volume 37
Issue 2

Editor in Chief John Miller, MD, shares his insights on the upcoming Psychiatric Times World CME Conference in October.

John J. Miller, MD

John J. Miller, MD


When I was applying to medical schools in 1981, my most memorable experience occurred at the University of Vermont Medical School when, on the morning of the interviews, about 20 applicants met with the Dean of Students. She got right down to business. The Dean started by stating that the field of medicine is one of lifelong learning and, every 5 years 50% of our knowledge base changes in some meaningful way. She concluded by inviting any of us who felt unable to honor this career-long imperative of continued learning to leave before interviewing, as medicine was not the career for that person.

Once I began medical school and throughout residency, there was no paucity of new information. To use a common metaphor, most days I felt like I was trying to drink as much water from the open fire hydrant flow as I could, watching most of the knowledge flow right past me. After residency there was nightly and weekend studying to prepare for the written and then oral boards.

Completing board certification was a moment I will always relish- learning could now be on my terms. When I decided to leave academia in 1995 and begin a career in private practice and community psychiatry, I experienced an unexpected feeling of loss, not having realized the tremendous immersion in daily learning that academia had provided.

I was delighted to discover a vast array of self-education resources in various multimedia formats, and these resources have steadily grown and diversified over the ensuing 25 years. Live conferences play an especially important role, as they allow for the intermingling of colleagues, which enriches learning in many ways. Additionally, reconnecting with colleagues socially and making new acquaintances serves to enrich our experience and support ongoing collaborations. Attending a conference where we are insulated from our usual responsibilities, and we are able to focus solely on expanding our acumen with the most up-to-date information in psychiatry commonly reignites our excitement and enthusiasm, which provides the nourishment to return to and continue in our day-to- day clinical practice.

In 1985 John L. Schwartz, MD, founded Psychiatric Times to provide a monthly publication accessible to all psychiatric practitioners that would ensure continued cutting-edge articles across the entire landscape of psychiatry. Not coincidentally, Dr Schwartz was also the founder of CME, Inc, which in 1985 was “the largest independent provider of psychiatric meetings in the United States . . . conducts Advanced Psychiatric Updates-continuing education programs for psychiatrists at which the country’s leading experts make in-depth presentations to practitioners.” (The Psychiatric Times; January 1985; Vol. I; No. 1, page 1). Each issue of Psychiatric Times continues to provide a free 1.5-hour Category 1 CME article, which is quite popular with our readers.

Reflecting on this history and Psychiatric Times’ mission, the leadership at Psychiatric Times explored the creation of an annual live conference as an important new resource to psychiatric providers.

We at Psychiatric Times are excited and delighted to announce the debut of the Annual Psychiatric Times World CME Conference which will be held October 15 through 17, 2020 in San Diego, CA. In partnership with Physicians’ Education Resource, our mission is to provide a timely update of all that is important in psychiatry and to complement these informational sessions with ample time for discussions and case presentations. The goal is to ensure that attendees will be comfortable applying what they have learned once they are back home and are treating patients.

Psychiatric Times has always been committed to delivering up-to-date information across the entire spectrum of the field of psychiatry in a manner that is tangible and accessible to our readers. One feature that has consistently generated positive feedback is our goal of providing evidence-based, peer-reviewed information that is interesting, concise, and immediately clinically actionable. In that spirit, our conference format will provide presentations relevant to the day-to-day practice of psychiatry. Topics will be divided into presentations of 15, 20, 30, and 60 minutes. This dynamic format is intended to keep the audience engaged while allowing us to cover a broad spectrum of relevant material that can be further discussed and explored with the faculty in breakout sessions each day.

We welcome all health care clinicians who share the curiosity and ambition to elevate their competence in psychiatry in a manner that will allow for immediate clinical application. Psychiatric Times will be providing regular updates and information about this conference, both in print and online. Please visit the following link for more information: https://gotoper.com/go/PSY20PT.

We hope to see you in San Diego!


DR MILLER is Medical Director, Brain Health, Exeter, NH; Editor in Chief, Psychiatric Times; Staff Psychiatrist, Seacoast Mental Health Center, Exeter, NH; Consulting Psychiatrist, Exeter Hospital, Exeter, NH; Consulting Psychiatrist, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA.

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