‘The most compelling research papers in the field of C-L Psychiatry should be published in our journal’
Hochang (Ben) Lee, MD, FACLP, is to become the new editor-in-chief of the Academy’s journal as it becomes solely online from January 2021 and changes its name to the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.
“As the flagship journal of ACLP, I believe that Psychosomatics should be the leading, international journal and an academic venue for exchanging and testing innovative ideas for the field of C-L Psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine,” says Dr. Lee. “Our journal should be in-line with the vision of ACLP that promotes: a global agenda of excellence in clinical care for patients with comorbid psychiatric and general medical conditions by actively influencing the direction and process of research and public policy and promoting interdisciplinary education.”
Now that papers will be received faster by those who previously used only a printed edition, are you satisfied that the journal will be competitive on timescales, e.g., from acceptance to publication?
“Our journal is already competitive with other leading journals in terms of average time from submission to first or final decision,” says Dr. Lee. “However, we shouldn’t sacrifice quality for speed in maintaining a fair and rigorous peer-review process.”
What can you do to seek out the most compelling research papers in a timely manner?
“The most compelling research papers in the field of C-L Psychiatry should be published in our journal. I plan to work together with the ACLP leadership to encourage more robust and impactful research within our membership. I will also reach out to researchers outside of ACLP and other related organizations (e.g., APM, ECPM, APS, ICPM, ACPM, among others) to submit appropriate papers to our journal.”
Are you having to relinquish your Psychiatry practice completely to take on this full-time Academy role?
“Being a practicing psychiatrist is an important part of my professional identity, and I would continue my small, neuropsychiatry practice as always.
“I will relinquish my role as co-chair of the Academy’s Proactive C-L Psychiatry SIG. With more than 50 active ACLP members, it is in the excellent hands of Mark Oldham, MD. I will also relinquish my role as the North American Editor for International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.”
Born in South Korea, Dr. Lee moved with his family to the Seattle region in 1982. It was his father’s dream to move to the US after visiting Rochester on a business trip in 1975.
Three years ago, Dr. Lee became the John Romano Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Lee is also the president-elect for the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine that plans to stage the 26th World Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine in Rochester during fall of 2022.
Before joining the University of Rochester, Dr. Lee was the founding director and chief of Yale’s Psychological Medicine Service, at Yale New Haven Hospital. He also directed Yale’s Psychological Medicine Research Center. Previously, he had also been associate professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Lee’s primary research interests have been:
He is also an expert in psychiatric aspects of restless legs syndrome, and Asian American mental health issues.
Dr. Lee is board certified in Psychiatry with sub-specialty certification in psychosomatic medicine. He completed Psychiatry residency and combined neuropsychiatry/psychiatric epidemiology fellowships at Johns Hopkins after earning his MD at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1997.
In 2019, Dr. Lee was awarded the Academy’s Don R. Lipsitt Award for Achievement in Integrated and Collaborative Care—recognizing an individual who has demonstrated excellence and innovation in the integration of mental health with other medical care through collaborative care.
In his nomination at the time, ACLP president Michael Sharpe, MD, FACLP, commended Dr. Lee on his ground-breaking work in delivering integrated inpatient care. He was one of a group at Yale who initiated a proactive model of inpatient C-L Psychiatry and continued to develop it at Rochester, linking together many US sites.
“This proactive model has the potential to do for inpatient C-L Psychiatry what collaborative care did for outpatient Psychiatry,” said Dr. Sharpe. “Inpatient C-L Psychiatry has been very much a poor relation with a lack of good evidence for its effectiveness. The proactive model has breathed fresh life into inpatient C-L Psychiatry and has the potential to revolutionise practice.”