I would like to thank Maurizio Fava for his terrific work as President of the ASCP. He has done a wonderful job as the leader of this organization. I also want to thank John Kane who led our organization through challenging times in the past. Our Board of Directors has been superb. They have not only been dedicated and devoted many hours to the society, but their thoughtful counsel has been important in helping the society grow. We have a great website and our meetings provide a tremendous educational and scientific service to the field. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the ASCP Annual Meeting Program Committee for the remarkable job they have done in facilitating the transition of this meeting from being an NIMH sponsored meeting to becoming the ASCP annual meeting. The Program Committee has developed outstanding programs that span the breadth of what is going on in clinical psychopharmacology. The plenary sessions have stimulated a tremendous amount of discussion for those members attending the meeting. I would also like to thank NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA, and NICCH for their participation in our annual meeting. The field, ASCP, our journal (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry), and our meetings have been truly blessed by the selfless work of many dedicated people. Although it is impossible to acknowledge everyone (and so I apologize to the many people not mentioned below), I wanted to recognize some of the people who have devoted many years to promoting psychopharmacology research, NCDEU (the old name for our annual meeting) and to ASCP. In particular, I want to thank Don Klein, David Kupfer, Husseini Manji, Michael Thase, Maurizio Fava, Ira Glick, John Kane, John Rush, Alan Gelenberg, Nina Schooler, Matt Rudorfer, Bob Prien, Barry Liebowitz, Madhukar Trivedi, Bill Potter, Jerry Levine, Craig Nelson, Jonathan Cole, Andy Nierenberg, and Ellen Frank for their many years of leadership in the area of clinical psychopharmacology, our annual meeting, and/or our organization.
Our organization is at an interesting crossroads. We are financially sound and we should continue to grow both in membership and financial health. We have a wonderful partnership with Parthenon Management Group. They have done an outstanding job streamlining the operations of our organization and running our various educational meetings. We now have an opportunity to consider whether our organization should begin to look outward in order to help define policy issues for our field. At this time, there is no organization representing clinical psychopharmacology to the public, government, or to the fields of psychiatry, psychology, social work or nursing. (There are organizations that do this in the area of pharmacy). It is clear that the pendulum is beginning to swing back and that the public as well as academia and government are beginning to understand not only the importance of clinical psychopharmacology, but the value of partnerships between academia, private practitioners, the government, and industry. As attested to by the recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial by Jeffrey Dragen “Revisiting the Commercial-Academic Interface” and the 3 articles published in consecutive weeks of the NEJM beginning in May 7, 2015 by Laura Rosenbaum, it is time to create a new academia-industry partnership. There are many possible activities that the ASCP could become involved in. The ASCP could become a member organization of the AAMC Council on Faculty and Academic Societies. We could represent our field through this council with the AAMC. The ASCP could become an affiliate of a number of the APA Councils. We could be instrumental in future decisions of the American Psychiatric Association regarding drug development, quality assessment of medication use, and psychopharmacology training. We also have the opportunity to form new committees within our organization to influence the field. We could form committees on governmental affairs and on public advocacy. Such activities would signify significant transitions in our organization and could lead the way for us to take on a larger leadership role in the field. My hope is that we can use my presidency as a time to engage in discussions about what roles our organization should have within the larger field.
I feel honored to have this opportunity to serve you as the President of the ASCP.
Mark Hyman Rapaport, M.D.