Psychiatric Continuing Medical Education

Dr. Deborah Hales is committed to advancing the field of psychiatry. She is the associate director of the American Psychiatric Association's Division of Education, Minority, and National Programs. Dr. Hales also served as the chair of the continuing medical education program at the San Mateo County Mental Health Services. Her research focuses on the destigmatization of psychiatry and the recruitment of medical students into the specialty. We had the pleasure to speak with Dr. Hales about her career in medicine and how she wishes to see medical education improve.

How did you decide on a career in medicine?

My father was an oncologist, and I wanted to be a doctor since about the fifth grade. I never really thought about anything else, which wasn’t necessarily the greatest thing. Medicine was it for me from a very early age.

What made you pick psychiatry as your specialty?

When I was in medical school, I was involved in research with two pediatricians on mother-infant attachment. I was interested in psychiatry, but there was a lot of stigma attached to going into it, including from my own father. As a result, I went into pediatrics and I finished the whole residency. I never liked clinical pediatrics; I liked the child development research. If I hadn’t picked up the stigma about psychiatry, I would have gone into child psychiatry. Instead, I went into pediatrics. When my husband had to move to California for his job, I thought the time was right to do my psychiatry residency at Stanford and I was very happy with the clinical work of psychiatry.

It seems that more medical students are pursuing interdisciplinary careers and degrees (MD/MPH, MD/MBA, etc). Can you describe how you managed to combine your career in medicine with your interest in leadership?

I took a job when I finished my psychiatry residency as a part-time Residency Training Director. At this point, I was involved in education but I also had time to practice. That was a wonderful split for me because my kids were little and my private practice was really small. Many psychiatrists have a salaried job and a part time clinical practice. Medical schools also need volunteer supervisors in psychiatry. This is valued by local medical schools, and keeps the practitioner up to date. It is a wonderful way to volunteer your time and allows you to stay involved in teaching, even if you are full-time in private practice.

CMS proposes removing CME exclusion from Sunshine Act regulations, citing ..  — Lexology
.. physician or teaching hospital (Covered Recipient) or physician owner/investor, or by an Applicable GPO to a physician owner/investor, for speaking at a continuing medical education (CME) program need not be reported if the following conditions are ..

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