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News & Press: WPA News

President's Message, October 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017  
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By Justin Schoen, MD

On the coat tails of a successful fall meeting, I wanted to share a number of thoughts and updates. First, I was truly intrigued and impressed by the high quality presentations and subsequent dialogue that occurred throughout the meeting and after.  I was fortunate to meet with many of you directly and appreciate those opportunities and hope to follow-up on a number of the topics that were discussed.

Second, the WPA Executive Council met before the event, and among many other items for discussion, results of our recent membership survey were reviewed.  A number of critical issues came to light that we will try to help address, including access to care, Chapter 51 and inpatient care, as well as the Affordable Care Act and insurance-based concerns.  WPA will continue working with our lobbyist, Eric Jensen, to best address these and other member concerns. The ACA is obviously in an ongoing transition and we are closely monitoring and working with APA on ways to respond. 

Another issue raised was essentially a blend of burnout and comradery.  This is a critical topic affecting all of us and our patients.  Provider burnout is incredibly high, and one way to address the issue is community.  The idea of a Balint group was raised, which is an interesting idea and one that seems a bit perplexing to operationalize.  I welcome your suggestions on how to make this work. Please contact me through the WPA office at WPA@badgerbay.co.

Along those lines, I have plans to meet with all of the current psychiatry residents throughout the state, including at the new MCW Northeast Wisconsin and Central Wisconsin campuses. Although, I do not expect this to be a quick process, it is one that I find critical as these residents will be leading our field into the future.  I have been working with our Executive Director Sally Winkelman and the residency programs to coordinate these meetings, and had the first informal gathering with residents in Milwaukee just after the Fall Conference concluded. I plan to be available following the Annual (Spring) Conference in Madison, and hope to meet up with more residents and members informally then.

I look forward to meeting many more of you over the next couple of years. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have thoughts, comments, or questions. 

Have a wonderful fall season!

Justin