Spring 2016 Issue
By Susan Waller, MD, FAPA
Incoming PSV President
Susan Waller, MD, FAPA
Predicting The Future. “The Future of Healthcare” was the theme of our Spring Meeting this year. The stimulating presentations talked about mental healthcare from a health systems perspective, measurement of physician performance and new developments including telemedicine and identifying genetic targets for diagnosis and treatment of major mental illnesses. In addition, the impact of politics, legislation and regulation on future healthcare delivery was discussed. We also heard an inspiring presentation on trauma-informed care from one who is both a consumer and purveyor of mental healthcare.
Psychiatry Ascending. For the first time in memory, psychiatry is widely recognized among newly educated physicians as the fascinating and desirable profession that we know it to be. Our residency programs are attracting applications from among the best and brightest graduating physicians. This is borne out by the increasing numbers of American Medical Graduates matching into psychiatric residency programs. The results of this year's National Resident Matching Program reveal that 850 allopathic seniors matched into psychiatry, an increase of more than 10% over the 2015 results. This is in keeping with the upward trend of the past three years. This exciting development means that psychiatry has become a truly competitive specialty, which can only serve to enhance and advance our profession.
Lowering Barriers to Resident Participation. The value of psychiatry to the broad spectrum of medical practice is coming to the fore among newly educated physicians. Supporting mental health education from the beginning of medical school will help ensure a supply of highly motivated, well-educated physicians entering the field of psychiatry. We can accomplish this by promoting the involvement of our residents, medical students and even premedical students in organized psychiatric medicine by inviting trainees to attend local, state and national professional society meetings, to meet with our legislators during the annual “White Coats on Call,” and to take on leadership roles on various executive boards, especially PSV. Let us, as members of the APA and PSV, increase our ranks by working to identify and lower barriers to resident membership in the APA.
Stay Involved. I look forward to serving as your president. Let us work together to promote psychiatry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We can’t do our best without your participation. I will see you at the Fall Meeting in Roanoke, October 7- 8, 2016 when we will hear about “Controversies in Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment.” Stay Involved!