Charles L. Raison
NEW ORLEANS — This year’s Psych Congress addressed an array of significant topics within psychiatry, including risks and benefits associated with benzodiazepines, top clinical challenges in depression treatment, safe implementation of telepsychiatry, managing postpartum depression, and more.
“I left Congress last year a little sad because I was sure it couldn’t be topped, but I was dead wrong. This year’s congress was the best yet,” Charles L. Raison, MD, conference co-chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Healio.com/Psychiatry. “I heard a huge array of great talks delivered by great teachers. I heard important current knowledge presented with clarity and authority, and I heard remarkable talks about both the near- and far-term future of our field. And there was such a deep sense of camaraderie and family feeling that it was a wonderful, emotional experience as well.”
Healio.com/Psychiatry asked Raison and fellow conference co-chair, Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Midland, Texas, to share some session highlights. They included:
- A keynote address from Temple Grandin, PhD, of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, on living with autism;
- A session on circadian rhythm and eating behaviors;
- A discussion about the microbial world and its impact on psychiatry, led by Raison (and designated by Jain as one of his top highlights);
- A symphony performance from Vijay Gupta, MM, director of Street Symphony and violinist, and colleagues that illustrated the power of music in mental health; and
- A session on the clinical relevance of relationships in biology and psychiatry.
“An attendee captured the post-Psych Congress feeling this way: She wrote to me in an email that ‘being at Psych Congress in New Orleans was like being a kid in a candy store — there were so many, many wonderful presentations for the entire 4 days,’” Jain told Healio.com/Psychiatry. “She said it better than I could. This year was an exceptional Congress. The attendees came by the hundreds and the presenters brought their A games. It was an excellent educational experience, but we attendees had a great deal of fun as well.” – by Amanda Oldt