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AAGP president's column: Raise your hand and be heard!

from By Susan K. Schultz, MD

Please remember that our Member-in-Training (MIT) group is eagerly awaiting your responses to our member survey to help create materials to reach out to potential new members in training. Your feedback will be valuable in so many ways as we continue to strengthen the AAGP to meet the challenges of the future. While the survey should only take a couple minutes, it gives our members a chance to describe how long they've been in practice, their payors, practice settings, etc., as well as free text options at the end to provide individual comments. This feedback is priceless not only to the MIT group but to our leadership as we think carefully about how to best position the AAGP to have a voice in accountable care, interdisciplinary practice, training requirements, the list goes on!

Please take a moment to click on this survey link,, and tell us about what you do and what aspects of the field of geriatric psychiatry mean the most to you. Please respond by July 11.

In closing, please raise your hand if the voice of Casey Kasem from his "American Top 40" show is burned into your long-term verbal memory. With his recent death, you may have noticed the media discussion of Lewy Body Disease and how it affected his later days. There have been comments about an early "misdiagnosis" of Parkinson's disease, which is not surprising to AAGP members as we have a unique understanding of the trajectory of these illnesses. As conditions such as LBD enter the media stream, it underscores the importance of our voice being heard in the public dialogue when prominent personalities encounter the very illnesses that we think about most every day. The case of dear Mr. Kasem calls to our attention the key issues of family involvement in care, end-of-life planning, and careful medical decision-making for complex neurodegenerative diseases. AAGP members understand that Lewy Body disease requires exquisite attention to judicious management of medications and comorbidities, with family feedback being priceless every step of the way. In my view, this draws our attention once again to our core mission of beneficence in care and "being there" for our patients every step of the way.

Please help our mission by filling out the survey and guide the AAGP leadership forward. Finally, as Mr. Kasem would say at the end of his shows: "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." more

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