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Exploring New Horizons at the Royal College International Congress


I do a fair bit of traveling as part of my duties as APA’s CEO and Medical Director, and one of my very favorite destinations every year is the United Kingdom, where each summer I attend the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ (RCP) International Congress.

The RCP’s International Congress is well worth the trip for any psychiatrist interested in a stimulating exchange of medical knowledge, culture and ideas, that has the twist of British etiquette, with the rigor that all researchers, clinicians have, both there and here in the USA. The Sunday night event for International Attendees is always a highlight for me.

Incoming APA President Dr. Altha Stewart will deliver a keynote address titled "Global Public Health Implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences." Mental health issues are increasingly being recognized as a public health concern, and rightfully so. Mental illness and substance use disorders have a profound impact on our society, and particularly on child and adolescent patients, for whom early intervention is key in achieving good treatment outcomes. I’m very excited to hear Dr. Stewart examine this issue on a global scale and am sure it will be one of the highlights of the meeting.

The RCP International Congress boasts a world-class scientific program, but it is not limited to hard science. Indeed, one of the defining features of the RCP International Congress is the diverse array of speakers it attracts, featuring patients, families and opinion leaders from the social and political sphere in addition to academics.

This year is no different, with a four-day program featuring 14 keynote speeches and about 80 parallel sessions that cover a broad array of topics ranging from basic science to clinical psychiatry and socio-cultural topics relevant to mental health. A broad curriculum and a truly international faculty means that the RCP International Congress has excellent learning opportunities for psychiatrists at any stage of their career.

It is fitting then, that the theme of the 2018 International Congress is Psychiatry: New Horizons. Advancement in technology and communications have connected humanity in ways that would have seemed impossible just 20 years ago and made this a very exciting time to practice medicine. It is now more important than ever for the American Psychiatric Association and our members to be active participants in the global medical community and pursue opportunities to interact with our international colleagues whenever possible.

Mental illness and substance use disorders affect patients at all levels of society here in the United States and abroad. Seeking out and hearing the viewpoints and experiences of our colleagues in international psychiatry, and sharing our own in return, will be key as American psychiatrists work toward a better future for our patients and our profession.

Come join me in Birmingham, England, this June for one of most prestigious mental health events in the world. It’s the perfect time to share your knowledge and network with colleagues from all over the world.

You can find registration information and take a look at the academic program for the Royal College of Psychiatry’s International Congress here.


Post by Saul Levin M.D., M.P.A.

Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., FRCP-E, is APA's CEO and Medical Director. Read Dr. Levin's full biography

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