AS a life member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), I've dutifully attended its annual meetings for decades.

It's been a way to keep current with the latest ideas in the field, an excuse to visit places like New Orleans or San Francisco or Toronto where these events are held, and an opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Gradually, though, as I listened to the lectures and participated in the seminars, it's begun to dawn on me that my field has changed.

From the long-ago days of my training and the decades of practice, American psychiatry, which offered a

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