Pennsylvania Psychiatrist, October 2021, Newsletter of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society

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by Dhanalakshmi Ramasamy, MD, DFAPA PaPS President

Dear members, friends, and other supporters of the Society, “When will it become normal again?”. I am sure many of us have felt this way since our first lockdown. When we think things were getting back to normal, we are faced with surges in cases due to new variants. In addition to our continued concerns and COVID-19 related fear, losses, trauma, isolation, and financial hardships, now we are faced with structural racism, Hurricane Ida, and many others both inside and outside of our nation. Recent studies show increase incidences of anxiety, PTSD and depression in the general population and frontline workers may be more vulnerable. This adds to our existing access crisis, and we are needed more than ever to do the heavy lift in the face of crisis due to our unique training. Our distinctive clinical expertise in psychiatry along with extensive medical training is what sets us apart as psychiatrists providing care. More than ever the expansion of telepsychiatry support has led to more utilization, less no-shows and improved access to care. We know that isolation is a serious problem for physicians and an important cause and effect of burnout, and we welcome our members to join us for our events, to have critical conversations with other colleagues or reach out to us for any ethical concerns. Join us for our upcoming fall education activities such as the Small Chapter Coalition PRMS webinar and the PaPS Patient Safety and Risk Management Virtual Meeting. Virtual meetings have enabled us to bring in national and international scholars, we hope you join us. At the Society we work for you and are here to assist in navigating the insurance system, especially the difference between public and private/third-party payers. We can provide resources about work-related scope of practice expansion issues. Our Long-Range Planning Committee is working on our strategic plan for the next three years and the PaPS goals and priorities align with the APAs to advocate for our profession and to help our members provide high quality care through education and advocacy activities. We plan to work closely with our chapters to improve engagement of members by addressing the unique challenges of resident and early career psychiatrist members, improving networking, and mentoring to address practice needs, addressing our efforts towards equitable care and structural racism. These efforts are not possible without our collective voice. Please let us know how you would like to get involved, or support the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society PAC, or bring a friend to join the Society and most importantly tell us about your ideas for the betterment of PaPS. Before closing, I would like to extend my sympathies for the loss of our beloved members Larry Real and Kelly Felins who both passed away this year. Have a safe and a healthy autumn ahead, TOGETHER WE CAN.


TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 | PaPS Chapter Updates 3 | Editor’s Column 4 | Activity Update 5 | Resident Update 6 | Area 3 Update 8 | A View on a Virus from a Member 9 | Calendar of Events 11 | New Members 12 | Early Career Physician Update

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PaPS Chapter Updates Philadelphia Chapter—Holly J. Valerio, MD T he Philadelphia Chapter recently hosted the 7th Annual Addictions Symposium on Saturday, September 18th. The meeting took place virtually. The event featured Frank Leone, MD as the keynote speaker on tobacco addiction as well as Jeffrey Hom, MD, MPH & Lara Weinstein MD, MPH, DrPH who spoke on disparities in addiction. Peter D’Maria, MD, FASAM, DFAPA, Vishesh Agarwal, MD, and Joseph D’Orazio, MD, FAAEM, FACMT addressed difficult clinical encounters. Two tracks were offered. The generalist track featured “Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment: Beyond Medications” by Benjamin Kum, DO, FASAM and “Opioids” by William Jangro, MD. The specialist track included “ASAM Criteria and Related Products” by Margaret Jarvis, MD and “What’s on the Street - Current Trends in Substance Use” by Joseph D’Orazio, MD, FAAEM, FACMT. The Symposium drew 74 attendees and three exhibitors and received rave reviews.

E D I T O R ’S C O L U M N A Psychiatrist as Top Neuroscientist by Edward C. Leonard, Jr., MD, DLFAPA

All psychiatrists can benefit from exploring Karl Deisseroth’s Projections: A Story of Human Emotions. This memoir presents a brilliant mind explaining to himself and his readers how and why he studies the basics of behavior. In living animals, at the level of axon to specific cell, his research refined the techniques of optogenetics. After a neuron is genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels, light may be applied to activate or inhibit that specific cell. For tissue taken from animals, he developed a hydrogel-tissue chemistry technique that removes lipids and renders the structure of organs clearly visible to microscopic examination. Many expect that findings from these scientific tools will trigger a sea of change in medicine. Of great interest to our field is his presentation of preliminary studies exploring the basis of animal violence and human dissociation. In medical school Deisseroth had planned to become a neurosurgeon, but psychiatry captured him through a startling encounter with a psychotic patient. Even though his main effort now is to run his famed neuroscience research laboratory, he still cathects his chosen specialty, which he calls “enthralling and mysterious.” He supervises residents in psychiatry for part of the year and treats some outpatients with autism and treatment-resistant depression. Importantly, the basic science techniques he develops follow his concerns about patients, and his book makes many scientific points by discussing patients. Their stories are so carefully written that the reader must stay alert to master the overlapping cognitions and emotions in both the patients and the author. He combines carefully chosen words into beautiful, convoluted sentences conveying complex images and ideas.

Deisseroth’s early aspiration was to become a writer, and the breadth of his reading shows in his choice of quotations. “Epigraph,” from a love poem by Jorge Luis Borges, structures his intense relationship to the reader: “I offer you explanations of yourself, theories about yourself, authentic and surprising news of yourself.” The “Preface” quotation from Finnegan’s Wake may hint that a shock (like lightening) may be needed to start the process of research: “After sound, light and heat, / memory, will and understanding.” I predict reading Projections will be a joy, but for those who prefer lectures, YouTube may be a substitute. An interview in his office, accompanied by one of his four young children who could not go to school that day, shows him as a tired, loving 49-year-old father. His academic neurologist wife covers later in the day, while he readies their children for school and makes their lunches. An older son is a medical student. Do enjoy a recent two-hour interview, Huberman Lab Podcast #26, “Dr. Karl Deisseroth: Understanding & Healing the Mind.” It even provides a table of contents usefully clickable to topics of your interest.

Mateo came to Deisseroth’s emergency room distressed that he could not cry about the death of his pregnant wife in the automobile he had driven. This survivor’s plight introduces stimulating ideas about the evolutionary utility of tears. The reader will learn that other facial signs of emotion, like smiling, are easy to pretend. But the flow of involuntary tears moves those who watch in a powerful way, usually to assist the one crying. The author treats his patient-examples with respect, even allowing Winnie to tell her own experiences. She presents herself as a successful patent attorney who had survived lymphoma but believed that vampires were tapping into her brain. After leaving the hospital, rejecting treatment, and hiding at home, she gets a phone message that her spinal tap study found cells showing T-cell lymphoma.

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by Deborah Shoemaker, Lobbyist and Ethics Specialist

Fall ahead into a busy legislative session Today is the first day of fall. It is hard to believe that over half of the first year of this new legislative session is already in the books. Kids have been back to school for almost a month. Instead of just learning the basics, their lives are full of debates on mandatory masking, potential FDA-approved vaccines for elementary school kids and revised athletic schedules. It is now a good time to recap what the Society has been working on this summer and what is expected to take up much of the rest of this year. COVID-19 Activities Without rehashing the obvious, COVID has not gone away, much to the chagrin of lawmakers who voted to end the ability of Governor Wolf and future governors to declare prolonged emergency declarations. As stated within our last issue of News and Notes, the state legislature enacted legislation that required a constitutional amendment change to limit any governor’s authority to declare a Public Health Emergency (PHE) to 21 days- regardless of the issue. Act 21 of 2021 was signed into law on June 11, 2021. Implementation of the Act allowed for an extension of all temporary/suspended regulations and policies relaxed under COVID through September 30, 2021, unless terminated sooner by the agency that issued the suspension. Within my article, I highlighted the COVID-related rescinded waivers that will be most problematic for our members: telemedicine; requiring emergency paper prescriptions within 72 hours; flexibility for out-ofstate health care practitioners to provide healthcare during a crisis; physicians and the number of affiliated institutions in which they can practice; and Buprenorphine treatment via telemedicine expanding access to treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Although these policies will have expired by the time of publication, the Society will be working with PAMED and other medical specialty colleagues to reinstate as many of these policies in some fashion as possible to ensure that access to care is not compromised. The Society will also continue to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council (PPLC) to hold bi-weekly Zoom meetings providing a forum to discuss COVID-19, share stories and support each other during this difficult time. It is an hour each week that is an “informal” support group to brainstorm on how to provide care and find alternatives to traditional practice to ensure that needs are being met during this pandemic. Society Advocacy on the National Stage Our affiliation with the APA has afforded our members the opportunity to not just get engaged on the state level, but on the national level. The Society’s official Area 3 representatives (Drs. Albaugh, Colon-Rivera, Neff, and Wilson), along with Area 3 Trustee Kenneth M. Certa, MD, DLFAPA, meet on a regular basis with your colleagues across the region and at the APA Board of Trustees to affect change. Dr. Nazanin Silver


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recently stepped down as one of our representatives. The Society thanks her for her service to the district branch. PaPS continues to work closely with the APA to collaborate on advocacy areas of mutual interest. During this time alone, the Society: • Personalized an APA template letter commenting on the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed Rulemaking Changes to the current HIPAA laws/regulations. Our comments were submitted to HHS on May 4th. • Via solicitation from Senator Patrick Toomey’s office in early summer, APA and I reviewed the proposed IMPROVE Act. Toomey’s request was for both APA and PaPS to formally support his initiative. We informed Toomey’s office that we would remain neutral based on psychiatrists seldom prescribing opioids and APA members asking to remain neutral on provisions related to Drug Utilization Review (DUR). • On behalf of the Society, members attended the APA legislative conference and performed federal legislative visits in early June. Members representing PaPS included Mary Anne Albaugh, MD, DFAPA (Area 3 representative- Western chapter); Jad Hilal (medical student, UPMC); Evgenia Royter, DO (RFM member from Coatesville); Adam Sagot, DO (fellow from Philadelphia chapter); Hope Selarnick, MD, DFAPA (PaPS President-Elect) Fauzia Sheikh, MD, DFAPA (former Central chapter president); and myself. Our coalition met with staffers from the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation (including Congresswoman Madeline Dean [D-Montgomery County]; Congressman Dwight Evans [D-Philadelphia County]; Congressman Mike Doyle [D-Allegheny County]; Congressman John Joyce, MD [R-13TH- Blair County]; Congressman Mike Kelly [R-Erie County]; Congressman Scott Perry [R-10th District-including Cumberland County]; and Senators Bob Casey [D] and Pat Toomey [R]). Psychiatric top advocacy priorities discussed included co-sponsors for the proposed federal legislation on the Collaborative Care model; moving the Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act across the finish line; moving proposed legislation to increase GME slots; and co-sponsoring proposed legislation on telehealth. • PaPS personalized APA Template letter to CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure advocating for the continuation of audio-only telemedicine coverage instituted during the public health emergency in early September. Feel free to contact us for a copy of the letter or for more information. Society Updates Close to Home Since my last article, our members and myself have attended too many meetings to count. Representation at quarterly meetings within the Departments of Corrections, Drug/Alcohol Programs, Health, Human Services and the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency continue in earnest. Rest assured, the Society is keeping abreast of all grassroots advocacy areas of interest to psychiatry and will engage our members as appropriate.

At the state Capitol, legislators continue to focus their efforts on COVID-related issues, election reforms, prescription drugs/ substance use-related initiatives and scope of practice expansion. The Society works via individual and coalition work on prior authorization, opposition to scope of practice expansion for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Clinical Psychologists’ prescriptive authority, and appropriate supervision for Physician Assistants. We are also keeping on top of proposed legislation to allow insurers to access the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and related acts to, in the words of one proposal, “promote the health, safety, and welfare of members or subscribers, including identifying drug diversion, misuse, abuse, fraud or inappropriate prescribing, dispensing, billing or claim submission patterns in accordance with the quality assurance and utilization management programs of the managed care plan, licensed insurer or insurance administrator.” In direct collaboration with your executive committee, and co-chairs of the Clinical and Government Relations Committee, I labor with key staffers and members of the state legislature and the Wolf Administration to ensure our voice is heard on these important issues that affect your daily practice of medicine.

Your leadership has also committed time to review areas of potential grassroots advocacy and continues to prioritize future legislative strategy. For example, the Society has been working closely with APA and various stakeholders on potential Collaborative Care model legislation, determining our level of prioritization. Our dedication to the collaboration between the PPLC, our psychiatric residency directors and membership grows beyond its initial stages to a monthly residency director meeting and weekly subcommittee meetings on structural racism. Last, but not least, at the direction of PaPS Council, a Task Force on Legalization of Marijuana and Safe Injection Sites was created in May to explore the Society’s positions on these two important issues prior to any legislative action. As you can read, your Society has been falling into action over the past year. I expect these and other priorities to continue into 2022. So, if you are willing to work closely with your leadership, your government relations committee volunteers and myself, contact the Society via email at Happy Fall. Please continue to stay safe and be well.

RESIDENT UPDATE Michael Chen, MD Lehigh Valley Health Network Greetings! My name is Michael Chen and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I will be serving as the Resident Representative for the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. In this role, it is my hope to serve the psychiatry residents of Pennsylvania in part by helping to develop our network and advocate for residency development. I had the chance to connect with some residents in the area so far, and I understand there is a particular interest in learning more about job opportunities in the state as we all get closer to graduation. According to a study reported by the U.S. News & World Report,1 13.39% of Pennsylvanians live in areas with a shortage in mental health. I believe we have an opportunity to improve this deficit with the 15 psychiatry residencies in Pennsylvania. I would be glad to assist if residents are interested in joining the Society or would like further information. Please reach out to me at Hubbard, Kaia. “Many States Face Shortage of Mental Health Providers.” U.S. News & World Report, 10 June 2021,


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AREA 3 UPDATE This past year our APA Assembly and APA family have experienced the loss of two colleagues Joseph Napoli, MD and Paul O’Leary, MD. Both Joe and Paul were strong advocates for our work with persons, families and communities, energetic voices within the APA and for our profession, mentors for many of us and dear friends. Gratitude and blessings, they will be missed. In this edition of the PaPS Newsletter, let’s introduce your current PaPS Assembly Representatives. The Assembly Representatives include Daniel Neff, MD, Hector Colon Rivera, MD, Robert Wilson, MD, and Mary Anne Albaugh MD. Nazanin Silver, MD had been an Assembly Representative and just stepped off given her other commitments with her family and work. Typically, we would be in a search for a candidate to step into that position. However, our membership numbers have gradually dipped to the point that the Pennsylvania District Branch currently does not meet the requirements for having 5 representatives to the Assembly. Melvin Melnick, MD, who has provided long service as an Assembly Rep and most recently as the Deputy Representative for Area 3, has stepped down to enjoy time with his family. One of our members, Ken Certa, MD is currently completing his term of service on the APA Board of Trustees as the Area 3 Trustee. He is stepping up to run again for a second term on the Board of Trustees, representing Area 3. Please stay tuned for information about the APA Elections … put your energies in learning about the candidates who are hoping to serve and then please VOTE. Our District Branch (PaPS) is one of five district branches making up Area 3 … the others are New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC District Branches. Area 3 leadership includes Drs. William Greenberg and Constance Dunlap elected by the Area 3 Assembly Representatives and they represent our Area at the Assembly Executive Committee (AEC). Assembly meetings are held twice yearly in November and at the APA Annual Meeting in May. Our Area 3 meets additionally two more times in the year generally just ahead of the November and May Assembly meetings. This structure supports time to review concerns/strengths for the district branches, key topics, proposed action papers, committee reports and updates from the APA in preparation for the formal Assembly meetings. With attention to fiduciary responsibilities and navigating COVID guidelines, the Assembly has been meeting virtually. No easy task in converting from in person Assemblies to virtual Assemblies. The group has benefitted from the wonderful leadership consisting of Speaker, Speaker Elect, Recorder and Parliamentarian and the APA Staff. The Assembly current leadership includes Speaker – Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald, MD, Speaker-Elect – Adam Nelson, MD, and Recorder – Vasilis Pozios, MD. The Assembly is looking forward to the November 2021 meeting set for November 5-7, 2021.


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Mary Anne Albaugh, MD, DLFAPA

The Area 3 Representatives met August 15th, 2021, virtually. The agenda was full and the discussion thoughtful. Areas covered included the campaign to endow the Chester Pierce Humanitarian Award. Dr. Pierce was a founder of Black Psychiatrists of America and provided pioneering work in the study of the concept of micro-aggressions, important today as we work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. Take time to visit the APA website and review the history of Chester Pierce, MD, and information on how to contribute towards the full endowment of the Award. The agenda for the Area 3 August meeting included Ken Certa’s Trustee’s report sharing active work by the APA’s counsel to clarify the relationship between the APA national organization and the District Branches – improving the responsibilities, structures, relationships, roles. Barry Herman, MD from PaPS and representing ACROSS at Area 3 has put forward an action paper to establish the APA Paul J. O’Leary, MD Award. This proposed action paper received unanimous support by Area 3. Constance Dunlap and many representatives discussed the ongoing work of the APA organization for transparency and accountability with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agency and structure at the APA. The group heard from Saul Levin, MD, CEO and Medical Director for the APA who provided updates of the actions of the APA relative to parity efforts, the DEI work, MOC efforts to name a few. APA President, Vivian Pender, MD, spoke with the group about her plans with her platform for the Social Determinants of Health which will continue to include the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts from this past year. There is much more to share, and the Assembly Representatives will be working to share new items with you as PaPS members in future newsletters. Please take some time regularly to go to the APA website. It is a very rich resource. While there, take a look in the tab “About the APA” to learn more about YOUR Assembly. Let us know your concerns. Do you have an idea for an action paper? Our goal is to get more voices and interest and advocacy. Pass the word about the importance of advocacy for the work we do and how the APA is supporting us in our care of patients.

Consult Liaison Main Line HealthCare’s Behavioral Services Department is seeking a part time board certified adult psychiatrist to join our growing department. Responsibilities include inpatient C-L and ED consultation at Riddle Hospital. Opportunity Highlights: • Nonacademic opportunity • Diverse patient mix • Enjoy the support of respected and top-level primary care, hospitalists, and other specialists within Main Line Health community • C-L fellowship training or focal C-L experience a plus • Weekend/Holiday moonlighting opportunities also available Benefits and Lifestyle: • Competitive compensation and incentives • Reasonable and incentivized weekend call schedule • Excellent benefits package • Financial security with working for a top ranked, financially secure hospital system • Area is well known for the top ranked (nationally) public and private schools Please contact: Rose Caione Physician Recruiter, Main Line Health (484) 580-4146 (Voicemail)

Inpatient Psychiatry Opportunity Main Line Health’s Behavioral Health Department is seeking full-time board-certified psychiatrists for our growing Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit located in the beautiful suburbs of Philadelphia at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Our unit will be expanding to a 40 bed, acute care psychiatric unit for adults 18 and up who are medically stable. Our psychiatrists along with our multidisciplinary team, treat patients with a wide variety of psychiatric disorders in a secure, comfortable setting. Opportunity Highlights: • Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit has been on the main line for over 35 years and is well regarded by our community and physician affiliates • Diverse mix of patient disorders • Reasonable physician to patient ratio allowing adequate time for patient care and treatment planning with the team • Opportunity for medical student and resident teaching • Our extensive behavioral health program offers continuum of care for our patients with our partial hospitalization programs • Part time may be considered • Weekend/Holiday moonlighting opportunities also available Benefits and Lifestyle: • High income potential with competitive base and incentives • Reasonable and incentivized weekend call schedule • Excellent benefits package • Financial security with a top ranked, financially secure hospital system • Located in the heart of the main line, well known for top ranked public and private schools and universities Please contact: Rose Caione Physician Recruiter, Main Line Health (484) 580-4146 (Voicemail)

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A VIEW ON A VIRUS FROM A MEMBER “Pennsylvania Psychiatrists as COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors” Muhamad Aly Rifai, MD, FACP, FAPA, FACLP Almost thirty thousand Pennsylvanians have died from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Several safe and effective vaccines have become available in Pennsylvania and seem to be a successful and preventative measure against COVID-19. Vaccines seem to be the most promising way to achieve herd immunity to end the current pandemic. Nonetheless, there remain significant obstacles to reaching this goal, as only 56% of Pennsylvanians received vaccination and vaccine skepticism, structural barriers and simple procrastination remain prominent especially in patients with psychiatric illness. The challenge to keep those with psychiatric illness protected from COVID-19 provides a great opportunity for psychiatrists to utilize their medical knowledge, expertise and clout and apply behavioral management techniques to facilitate vaccinations in their patients. It has become apparent that patients with psychiatric illness are subject to disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 infection and suffer more severe outcomes. Having been residency trained in internal medicine and psychiatry, my small private practice signed up in December 2020 to become the only private practice COVID-19 vaccine provider in Northampton County Pennsylvania. Our practice received community assistance and help from our students, staff, and family. With great effort we managed to vaccinate around three thousand Pennsylvanians. I am sharing my practical experience with my fellow Pennsylvania psychiatrists; to help in combating vaccine hesitancy and to highlight the unique skill set and longitudinal connections that we, as psychiatrists, have with our patients to be effective vaccine promoters to help save lives.


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During our vaccination effort we have experienced patients with psychiatric illness encounter issues with decreased confidence in vaccines, health systems and policy makers. They also struggle with complacency due to lower perceived risk, “this will not happen to me”. Finally, patients with psychiatric illness have a significant issue with accessing vaccine, though this has improved over the last few months. Pennsylvania psychiatrists are in the unique position to contribute to the success of the vaccination campaign as it has become apparent that the unvaccinated are the majority of those suffering from COVID-19 infections, hospitalization, and death during the current surge of COVID-19. Psychiatrists are in contact with their patients more frequently than other clinicians including primary care providers. Ultimately, our patients have a high trust in us and follow faithfully our recommendations. Psychiatrist-initiated vaccination efforts to reach patients with psychiatric illness can be successful in resolving vaccine hesitancy as these conversations are more than one-time discussions and include ongoing communication, persistence and consistency as well as applying our skills in motivational interviewing and nudging. We have a significant rapport advantage with our patients, and we are a trusted source of information on COVID-19 vaccine ahead of National, State and Local messengers. The active involvement of Pennsylvania psychiatrists in the COVID-19 vaccination effort can help improve the lives of our patients and protect them from severe COVID-19 disease. It can also facilitate reducing health disparities in our patients with psychiatric illness and potentially promote herd immunity to end this pandemic. I conceptualized the COVID-19 vaccination program as a moral mandate to facilitate “shots in the arms” in the psychiatric clinic. This pandemic is an opportunity to rethink our role in improving the health of our patients and participate in preventative health care.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS PaPS Small Chapter Coalition Webinar Risk Management and Legal Basics October 27, 2021


Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society Resident Research & Awards Night and Holiday Event November 1, 2021 Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square


Patient Safety and Risk Management | Virtual November 13, 2021


Save The Date! CPPS Holiday Social and Awards Night | Virtual December 9, 2021

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PaPS New Members —March 2, 2021-September 1, 2021 Central



Members in Training Dana K. Schirk, MD Paul Sungbae Park, MD Caleb J. Washabaugh, DO

Members in Training William R. McBride, DO Andres A. Roman, MD Rahul Vasireddy, MD

Lehigh Valley

General Members Sylvia Raouf Boules, MD Tania T. Kannadan, MD Olivia Knott, MD Elyse Watson, MD

Members in Training Kelly Akah, MD Nana A. Asabere, MD Jessica Benson, MD Amanda L. Campbell, MD Allison Chambers, DO Avi I. Davis, MD Reha F. Dharmaraj, MD Megan E. Hazel, MD Natalie N. Katchmar, DO Kirkland T. Kathe, MD Ali K. Khalil, MBBS Nicolette Lee, MD Wesley L. Lewis, MD Jonathan McLaughlin, DO Divya Patel, MD Aaron Pruitt, MD Christopher W. Rakay, MD Amanda Shapiro, MD Mark T. Shephard, DO Christina A. Spoleti, DO Zahid Syed, MD Andrea N. Weir, DO Chris Winfrey, MD

Members in Training John Doyle, MD Christine Emmanuel, MD Regino M. Flores, MD Chris A. Gauthier, DO Chand Grewal, DO KieuHanh T. Nguyen, MD Christopher J. McCarthy, MD Katherine Tsung, MD Dustin S. Wong, DO General Members Elizabeth D. Mutter, DO Life Fellow Eduardo Espiridion, MD

Western Members in Training Adam Malik, DO General Members Philip G. Talarico, DO

General Members Paula Bu, MD Sofia K. Jensen, MD Meghan Musselman, MD Mark A. Novitsky, MD Susan D. Wiley, MD Christine J. Wolfe, MD Distinguished Life Fellow Mary E. Diamond, DO

Northeastern Members in Training Salman Alam, DO Nathan A. Hoff, MD Christine Lu, MD Azad Matari, MD

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EARLY CAREER PHYSICIAN UPDATE I’m thrilled to be serving as ECP Representative for the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society this year! Upon graduating from the UCLA adult psychiatry residency program in 2017, I moved to the Philadelphia suburbs, and have worked in a number of outpatient settings, including a large health system, community mental health, (pre-pandemic) telemedicine, and solo private practice. Because of those experiences, I have become interested in fostering community and communications between psychiatrists, so we can support each other in shared challenges in psychiatric practice and work together on addressing the issues that we identify.

Heather John, MD

If any of you are interested in any of these program ideas, or have one to suggest, please contact me or your ECP chapter representative to see what we can get done together. Please reach out to me with ideas, concerns, or suggestions you have regarding how the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society can better support early career psychiatrists and our patients.

An important step towards this would be creating avenues for members to communicate with one another. At present, the national APA has listservs for members with shared interests to communicate via email. I believe it would be helpful to create a state-wide listserv so we can discuss Pennsylvania-related issues with one another – to provide support to one another and take action together. Social media, which many of us early career psychiatrists turn to for communication, has some utility in this capacity, but I believe our state society has the potential to be more effective in galvanizing meaningful change when there are issues that warrant sustained and organized attention. As early career psychiatrists are establishing and developing their careers, I also believe it would be helpful to develop programs to specifically address their unique needs. Such programs could include: • Career panels featuring psychiatrists practicing in a variety of settings, and could feature a job fair with local employers, • Private practice workshops or toolkits focused on state-specific parameters such as questions on licensing or reimbursement, and • Mentoring programs—I’ve been involved with the APA Psychotherapy Caucus’ mentoring workgroup in creating a series of virtual round tables to facilitate connections between potential mentors and mentees to support those seeking to integrate psychotherapy in their practices. A similar model might be used to develop mentoring relationships within Pennsylvania.