Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Leads Conference Focused on Latest in Mental Health Treatment, Featuring Legendary Faculty

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The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is sponsoring and leading the “Living Legends in Psychopharmacology: From Current Evidence Base to Advances in Treatment” continuing education conference, March 31 to April 1, 2023, in Boston, Mass. It will also be offered virtually.

The conference will feature national legends in psychopharmacology who will address evidence-based treatments, as well as current and emerging treatments for nearly every subspecialty area in psychopharmacology, from pediatrics to geriatrics, according to course director and co-moderator Barbara Coffey, M.D., M.S., professor and chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School.

Clinicians who work with patients with psychiatric disorders, including psychiatrists, psychologists, general practitioners, pediatricians, and nurse practitioners, will be among the approximately 500 conference attendees.

“Top-notch speakers will address not only conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but also topics like treatment-resistant depression, including innovative treatments such as ketamine and psychedelics,” Dr. Coffey said. “All of us in practice have the challenge of dealing with patients who are already on two or three different medications and aren’t responding. What do you do next? This happens particularly around depression.”

Other sessions will tackle the latest information about post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and the genetics of psychiatric disorders, as well as delve into the interfaces among neurological and medical disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, and psychiatric disorders.

Emphasis on Interaction

Something that makes this hybrid meeting stand out is its emphasis on encouraging interaction between the faculty and attendees.

Barbara J. Coffey, M.D., M.S.

“We have allotted 45 minutes to an hour for each section to have those discussions,” Dr. Coffey said. “If someone has a particular patient that they’re struggling with and we haven’t touched on that in the content of the talks, he or she will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions specifically about cases, while respecting HIPAA laws, of course.”

“The new Living Legends in Psychopharmacology conference is a great example of continuing medical education that is state of the art, evidence based, and designed to improve patient care,” said Barry Issenberg, M.D., professor of medicine and Michael S. Gordon Chair of Medical Education and senior associate dean for continuing medical education at the Miller School. “This is consistent with the Miller School’s mission to enhance the quality of education that will promote excellence in health care. The combination of interactive presentations with question-and-answer panel discussions will provide opportunities for participants to engage directly with leading experts in psychopharmacology so they are able to apply their learning directly to their patient care.”

Among the Miller School faculty speaking at the conference, Dr. Coffey, who is also chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Miller School, will present “Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology: Current Treatment for Best Practices.”

“There has been a great burgeoning of psychiatric illness in the last couple of years, especially for younger people with the influx of kids coming to emergency rooms with suicidal thoughts, increased depression, tremendous anxiety, and social isolation,” Dr. Coffey said.

Conference Faculty

Elizabeth Crocco, M.D., professor and chief of geriatric psychiatry at the Miller School, will present “Geriatric Psychopharmacology.”

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the Miller School, will present “Tackling Unsolved Problems in the Pharmacological Treatment of Schizophrenia: Cognitive Impairment, Negative Symptoms, and Partial Treatment Response.” Dr. Harvey is a recipient of the Schizophrenia International Research Society Clinical Scientist Distinguished Contributions Award and the Alexander Gralnick Schizophrenia Research Award from the American Psychiatric Foundation.

Other conference faculty include academic leaders in psychiatry from Harvard Medical School, Yale School of Medicine, Stanford University, University of California, San Diego, and Johns Hopkins.

Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., who is co-directing and co-moderating with Dr. Coffey, is former professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School and today is Matthew P. Nemeroff Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School, the University of Texas at Austin.

Living Legends in Psychopharmacology is an opportunity for the Miller School to take the lead in mental health and psychiatric education, with this conference the first in a series of education courses being planned for 2023, according to Dr. Coffey.

“We want to extend our reach, not just to psychiatrists and psychologists but to other medical practitioners who are seeing patients with psychiatric symptoms in their medical practices,” Dr. Coffey said.

The timing for mental health educational opportunities is crucial due to the post-pandemic epidemic of mental health needs in this country, according to Dr. Coffey.

“This includes not just those who have been touched by the pandemic directly but others — friends and families who have been isolated, maybe suffered losses,” she said. “There has been a great increase of psychiatric illness in the last couple of years. We need to be up to date in the evidence-based treatments and some of the newer things that we can do to help these patients.”

To register for the conference, please click here: Conference Registration 

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