As I write this blog I have just attended my daughter’s high school graduation. While I am simply in awe of the passage of time the experience has undoubtedly (and unsurprisingly) led to reflection on my own life transitions, from high school to college to medical school to residency to junior faculty to (ahem) mid-career faculty. Not only do our academic careers entail continuous change and growth, but even when literally remaining in one place (e.g., as a hospitalist at the VA for 17 years!) our field constantly evolves around us. That’s why I am so excited for this year’s AAP meeting in Milwaukee, with our AAP President Marcy Verduin’s timely and appropriately titled theme, The Educator’s Compass: Navigating the Changing Landscape of Academic Psychiatry.
Our meeting will be held in the historic and beautiful Pfister Hotel, within easy walking distance of many wonderful attractions. The hotel itself is decorated with gorgeous artwork and even an actual artist in residence. Consistent with our theme will be our Keynote, Academic Psychiatry Confronts Upheaval in the Healthcare System, presented by Dr. Darrell Kirch, President and CEO of the AAMC. Our program committee has been working hard at preparing a wide variety of stimulating, fulfilling, and fascinating interactive workshops, on topics such as wellness, gender gap, difficult conversations, ageism, flipped classrooms, and counter-transference.
One of the highlights will surely be our plenary, aptly titled, Keeping Your Footing When the Ground Shifts: A Practical Roadmap for Academic Psychiatrists. The panelists will be addressing three hot topics, namely changes in MOC requirements, the increasing volume of applications for Psychiatry residencies, and the challenge of entitlement in the learning environment. We will, of course, continue to have our usual offerings, including the popular Master Educator series, poster presentations, and Media Showcase, as well as new AAP traditions of the Presidential Book Club and tour of the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
I would be remiss as Program Chair if I didn’t mention our Night Out at the Discovery World. We will start with hors d’oeuvres and a welcome beverage in the atmospheric Aquarium. Our main festivities will be held upstairs in the Pilot House, with a 360 degree view of Milwaukee. We will have live music, and, as always, plenty of food and beverage, including our famous mashed potato bar, local Midwestern cuisine, and a beer tasting. You won’t need to leave for the after-party either, since Discovery World will remain open for us, with karaoke downstairs! Here’s to an educational and fun meeting in September! Have a great summer!