Guest Blog: Reflection on the 2023 MPA/LPMA Annual Meeting by Dr. Sarah Pierce

Guest Blog: Reflection on the 2023 MPA/LPMA Annual Meeting

As part of PRMS’ ongoing commitment to behavioral health, we invited Doctor Sarah Brannan Pierce, PGY-I Psychiatry Resident at the Mississippi State Hospital Psychiatry Residency Program, to be featured as a guest blogger this month. Dr. Pierce reflects on her experience attending the 2023 Spring Meeting co-hosted by the Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association (LPMA) and the Mississippi Psychiatric Association (MPA) in Gulfport, MS, February 3-5, which PRMS was honored to sponsor.

The 2022 Spring Meeting was my first time attending the MPA/LPMA Annual Meeting and I knew it would be interesting given its title, “Understanding Mental Health in Today’s Culture Through the Lens of Local Artists and Our Youth.” It was encouraging to hear about different treatment approaches being pursued for such a specific patient population close to the heart of many – the world of musicians and artists. I was happy to hear about the different information covered surrounding the pivotal topic of our youth’s mental health.

The weekend was meaningful to me in other ways, as well. In fact, I found that many of my prior life experiences had primed me to attend the sessions with an eager mind. As a beginning artist and experienced musician myself, I enjoyed the relevance of the content and felt enlightened by what I heard. And, as a young psychiatrist, I was inspired and excited by the opportunities and emerging treatment options of which I learned.

In addition to all the sessions and lecture content, the weekend also provided an opportunity for connecting with psychiatrists from the surrounding areas and catching up with old friends. It was a time of networking, listening, and sharing stories. And, during the casual time hanging out and mingling, additional learning inevitably took place as we all shared our experiences.

The weekend provided unique settings for networking, as there were two cocktail receptions to attend – both of which provided excellent opportunities to get to know my colleagues. The first reception was conveniently located in the exhibit hall, allowing us to peruse the latest psychiatric medications and research associated with each. A second reception occurred in conjunction with the research poster contest featuring both case reports and clinical research. This served as another valuable learning opportunity, as we were able to view some of the cutting-edge research occurring in our region.

Julia Bajereanu, David Cash, JD, and Sarah Pierce, MD, at the MPA/LPMA research poster contest.

I am so grateful for PRMS and its role in making this weekend possible for me and so many others. Without PRMS, the event would not have been able to occur as it did, and I would not have been able to enjoy as many aspects of the event as I did. I am grateful for both the educational experiences over the weekend and the encouraging interactions with other psychiatrists who are practicing within my region – and I am already looking forward to next year. Thank you, PRMS!

Visit the Mississippi Psychiatric Association and Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association websites to learn more about each organization.


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