A Work in Progress

July 12, 2020

Page Number: 4

Our country’s founders embarked on a dream. They did not know what would happen, and they did not agree on how our new world should work. Same is true in medicine and psychiatry. More in this introduction to the July issue.

FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF MJH LIFE SCIENCES, parent company of Psychiatric Times

Our country’s founders embarked on a dream. They did not know what would happen, and they did not agree on how our new world should work. Nonetheless, they recognized a need for change.

Here we are at the birthday of our country, recognizing we are still a work in progress, and we still have some changes we need to make to live up to the ideals of the United States of America and our founding fathers. How do we do it? We do it one step at time, always keeping in mind those precious ideals, believing we can reach them.

Same is true in medicine and psychiatry. Awais Aftab, MD, starts us on this voyage in his discussion with Anne Harrington, DPhil. A critical historian, Harrington walks the fine line of “poking holes in the narrative without legitimizing the antipsychiatry story” in her efforts to push for positive changes. Her work helps to reinforce the notion that psychiatry may be a work in progress as well as the importance to regularly question and reevaluate the progress.

Similarly, our front-page story pulls together great minds to consider how psychiatry and health care might morph to better meet the needs of patients. Erin Smith, William Ellsworth, Charles F. Reynolds III, MD, Michael Berk, MD, PhD, Harris A. Eyre, MBBS, PhD, and Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS, discuss the steps that should be considered, including recognizing the current challenges coupled with the pandemic’s impact. By leveraging experts from different fields—even those beyond medicine—convergence psychiatry may very well be the answer. Only time will tell how this work-in-progress unfolds.

In the clinical world, psychiatry looks for new ways to improve care. Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD, explore the neurobiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder and what it might mean for improving outcomes. Also in this issue, David N. Osser, MD, recognizes the need to ask the tough questions and to re-evaluate old standby treatment strategies. He leverages data from recent studies to determine what role valproic acid should really play in treating bipolar disorder.

As we all take one step at a time to reach our ideals, our goal is that, one page at a time, Psychiatric Times continues to provide you with the timely commentary and clinical guidance you need to reach the ideals you want in your practice.

Mike Hennessy Sr

Chairman and Founder, MJH Life Sciences

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