APA 2015: A Preview of Psychiatry’s Biggest Annual Meeting

Philip Muskin, MD, the American Psychiatric Association's scientific program committee chair, discusses the highlights of APA 2015.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting begins Saturday as thousands of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals descend upon Toronto for the biggest psychiatry meeting of the year.

As in previous years, the conference, which runs from May 16-20, is jam packed with more than 500 sessions for attendees to choose from and is set to bring exciting news and learning opportunities for mental health clinicians.

With so many sessions for attendees to choose from, Psychiatry Advisor turned to Philip Muskin, MD, chair of the APA’s scientific program committee  and chief of consultation-liaison psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center for his insights. He also wants to remind attendees to bring their passport with them as it is required for entry into Canada.

Psychiatry Advisor: Are there any big changes to the conference this year in terms of programming that attendees can expect?

Philip Muskin, MD: Each year we try to provide the broadest possible range of sessions so that people from every walk of psychiatric life will have something that appeals to them or is so different from what they usually do that it will open up a new horizon.

For example, George Koob, head of the [National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism], is speaking this year with Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, who are doing a session together (Sunday, May 17, 1230p-230p). If you never treat substance abuse patients, go to that because one might walk into your office.

Are you attending the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting?

[Editor’s Note: Volkow will also deliver the William C. Menninger Memorial Convocation Lecture on Monday, May 18 at 530p. Also, both Koob and Volkow are speakers during other sessions.]

PA: Are there any special sessions or presentations of particular interest?

Muskin: Richard Cogan, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell, who is the head of their sexual disorders clinic, is also a concert pianist. Richard, for many years, has done a forum where he talks about a famous composer who had mental illness. Last year, he did Rachmaninoff. This year he’s doing Chopin. He will perform works by Chopin and talk about his life. (Saturday, May 16, 5:30p-7p).