ACLP Board Message

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ACLP Board report from vice-president E. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhD, DFAPA, MBA, FACLP


E. Sherwood Brown, MD, DFAPA, FACLP
E. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhD, DFAPA, MBA, FACLP

SIGs Aim to Develop Review Articles, White Papers and Practice Guidelines

Special Interest groups are a very important part of the Academy.

Many Academy members are interested in subspecialties within C-L Psychiatry. The SIGs provide a mechanism for members with common interests to meet and network both at the annual meeting and during the year.

There are currently 26 SIGs. While many of the SIGs focus on areas related to clinical care (e.g., cardiovascular, HIV/AIDS, palliative care/psycho-oncology) others bring together members with interests in areas such as bioethics and research.

The vice-president was recently designated as the liaison between the SIGs and the Board of Directors. In this capacity, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with almost all of the SIG chairs. The objective was to learn about what they were doing, understand challenges their SIGs are facing, and to foster communication between the SIGs and the ACLP Board. My efforts in this area continued the excellent work by Paul Desan, MD, PhD, FACLP, the prior year.

My summary of key points from my meetings with the SIG chairs and co-chairs follows. First, it was very clear that many of the SIGs are extremely active. Most of the SIGs held meetings at the annual meeting as well as some virtual meetings during the year with a few holding monthly virtual meetings. The structure and content of virtual meetings was variable. Some SIGs invited outside speakers. Others held case conferences or journal clubs.

Second, the types of activities they engaged in were diverse. Many of the SIGs submitted workshop proposals to the annual meeting. Some arranged preconference courses. At least one SIG prepared podcasts on topics of interest. Some submitted manuscripts for publication.

Third, the structure of the SIGs was diverse. SIGs are given latitude to develop organizational structures that meet the needs of the specific SIG. The only requirement is that the SIGs must all have a chair and a co-chair. Most SIGs have co-chairs, and some have more complex organizational structures that include workgroups within the SIG that focus on specific areas.

Several SIGs expressed an interest in developing review articles, white papers and practice guidelines. Because practice guidelines typically follow specific rules and procedures for their development, the Board has a guidance and review mechanism, including a newly formed taskforce, to help SIGs develop guidelines that are ready for publication. These procedures should help facilitate the development of practice guidelines by SIGs.  

In the spirit of C-L Psychiatry, many of the SIGs were collaborating with other SIGs on initiatives and submissions to the annual meeting. Some SIGs also requested additional direction from the Board about goals and expectations for their SIG. The Board will continue to review the activity, contributions, overlap, and growth of new SIGs desired by the membership.

I want to also mention that ACLP has mechanisms other than SIGs for ACLP members to share their common interests and experiences. The SIGs focus on clinical populations or work settings. Forums focus on the professional position of the members (e.g., administrative or leadership role, career stage) while caucuses focus on the identity of the members (e.g., ethnicity, gender, race).

The Board welcomes proposals in each of these three categories and will work with the members to make sure the interest groups are aligned with the needs and goals of members. SIGs, Forums and Caucuses are each important mechanisms for the Academy to meet the needs of a diverse membership and to bring people together in ways that will strengthen ACLP.


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