My co-chair-in-crime, Aislinn Bird, and I will host — in just a few short months — an exciting one-day conference for medical students interested in psychiatry right in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Every year, our PsychSIGN group (which stands for the “psychiatry student interest group network”) puts on both local (“regional”) conferences and national conferences. We do this to get medical students jazzed up about mental health — and, of course, try to dispel the B.S. stigma against mental illness that still pervades many medical schools. Besides, what else is cooler than studying how the mind works?
(Even cooler — the conference is accessible by Muni and BART!)
This time, Aislinn and I were fortunate that the American Psychiatric Association was holding a conference right in San Francisco as well: they generously donated a conference room complete with AV equipment and a continental breakfast. Some organizations, like the California Psychiatric Association and the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry, generously donated to help support us. I feel extremely grateful that our existing physicians want to help the next generation of physicians.
So far, we’ve recruited:
- Residency directors from UC Davis, San Mateo, and Harbor-UCLA
- Dr. Marshall Forstein, a professor from Harvard Medical School
- numerous other community physicians and academic physicians working in psychiatry
We’ve uploaded a preliminary program for the PsychSIGN California (Region 6) 2011 conference on psychsign.org. If you’re interested too, and you’re a medical student, register now! (we probably can get free lunch for you too!)