Summer 2019 Issue
By John Urbach, MD, DLFAPA
After 35 years in my adoptive home of Virginia, it is an honor to serve as your 2019 PSV President. As a district branch of the APA, we have much to be proud of: Our national organization is celebrating its 175th anniversary, is the oldest medical society in the United States and has nearly 38,000 members. The Psychiatric Society of Virginia dates back to 1935, and has been steadily expanding its role in education, patient advocacy, professional integrity and legislative oversight. Under the leadership of our association management and governing Board, the PSV was named outstanding district branch (of 76 nationally) in 2016.
Continuing medical education, via our semi-annual meetings, is certainly a major part of our work, but there is so much more. We are a leading voice for the welfare and ethical care of patients, for respect and fair treatment of psychiatrists, for the professional development of our trainees and for a place at the table in Commonwealth government affairs. At our Fall Meeting, you will see about 30 poster presentations from residents and medical students across Virginia, representing innovative patient care and research from our next generation. The PSV Foundation supports this work and a number of mental health awareness programs each year. Our skilled and dedicated legislative team works constantly to monitor the many initiatives that can impact our work, and to rally us to action. Members of our Board play significant roles in the APA Assembly and in the Medical Society of Virginia. In addition to maintaining active member status, we urge you to support these efforts by contributing to the PSV Foundation and to PsychMD-PAC, our political action committee.
The May APA meeting in San Francisco focused not only on our impressive organizational history, but also on the growing diversity within our profession. We are increasingly representative of the wide spectrum of patients and families we serve. Another major theme was the scope and implications of climate change for physical and mental health. As physicians, we are aware of the importance of “warning signs” and of following the clinical data. We also know the potentially tragic results of symptom denial. Such denial, at the level of a looming crisis for our planet and public health, is a danger that must be confronted. As with most health challenges, accurate diagnosis and assertive treatment are critical to a good outcome.
On behalf of your PSV Board and fellow psychiatrists, we appreciate your ongoing participation and look forward to seeing you at the October meeting.
October 4-5, 2019
Sheraton Virginia Beach
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