CAPACon 2022 Course Descriptions

Psychiatry Track
Born This Way? The Role of Early Life Stress in Adult Mental Illness
Dri Wang, PharmD, BCPP & Elika Hefazi, PharmD, BCPP

Studies show that 25% of adults report physical abuse as a child. Childhood abuse and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) influence health and well-being throughout a person’s lifespan. Board certified psychiatric pharmacists, Dr. Wang and Dr. Hefazi, will prepare PAs to properly screen for early life stress and understand its importance as a potential risk factor for psychiatric illnesses.

The learning objectives for this session are to:
  • Recognize early life adversity as a risk factor for the development of psychiatric illness across diagnostic boundaries
  • Characterize biological and neurobiological mechanisms that implicate childhood trauma and stress in adult mental illness
  • Understand the importance of assessing early life events in the clinical setting
Psychiatric Emergencies
J. Michael Smith, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psych

Psychiatric emergencies occur frequently and are seen in all settings of clinical practice. If not recognized or treated appropriately, these emergencies can be life-threatening. This lecture will cover common psychiatric emergencies such as alcohol intoxication, drug overdose, acute withdrawal, serotonin syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, suicidal behaviors, and patient aggression.

Dr. Smith will equip PAs with the knowledge to address these scenarios effectively by discussing how to:
  • Recognize common psychiatric emergencies encountered in clinical practice
  • Understand the mechanism of action of medications used to treat psychiatric emergencies
  • Provide appropriate treatment for common psychiatric emergencies
 Medical Systems and Psychiatric Co-Morbidities
Maria Tiamson-Kassab, MD

Patients with medical conditions often also have co-morbid psychiatric conditions. Therefore, it is important for PAs to recognize the effect of psychiatric conditions on various medical conditions and understand how to manage them in their patients. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine, hopes that this session will encourage PAs to be more cognizant of psychiatric co-morbidities and approaches to treatment.

Participants in this session will learn to:
  • Appreciate the challenges encountered in medical presentations of psychiatric conditions and psychiatric presentations of medical conditions
  • Utilize the basic approach to evaluating patients with co-morbid medical and psychiatric conditions
  • Develop a greater understand of the psychiatric effects on various medical conditions
Decisional Capacity
Maria Tiamson-Kassab, MD

Assessing a patient's decisional capacity allows those with adequate capacity to make choices regarding their medical care and protects those who lack capacity from potential harm caused by impaired decision-making. To effectively treat patients with medical conditions, PAs must understand the standard approach to determine decisional capacity and be familiar with the concepts of informed consent and dispositional capacity.

Dr. Tiamson-Kassab will provide participants with an understanding of:
  • How to determine decisional capacity
  • The steps needed to obtain informed consent
  • The concept of dispositional capacity
Managing Difficult Patients
Sonny Cline, MA, MDiv, PA-C

At times during difficult encounters with patients, PAs can become frustrated and find themselves providing less than their best care. Family medicine and psychiatry expert, Sonny Cline, hopes that this session will teach clinicians how to identify possible weaknesses in specific difficult circumstances and utilize coping skills to improve management of those situations.

When faced with a difficult patient encounter, PAs will be able to apply what they learned from this lecture to:
  • Identify what is causing the difficulty
  • Implement methods to cope with the difficulty
  • Discuss coping strategies
Psychiatry for the Primary Care Provider
Sonny Cline, MA, MDiv, PA-C

There is an extreme shortage of psychiatry specialists. Therefore, it is very important for the primary care provider to have a good working knowledge of common mental disorders, especially those that can be easily managed in a primary care setting. PA Cline aims to improve primary care providers’ confidence in making mental disorder diagnoses and initiating basic care of these conditions.

Participants in this session will become familiar with:
  • Common mental disorder diagnoses that can be initially managed in primary care
  • Typical medications used to treat mental disorders
  • The framework for when to refer a patient to a psychiatrist
Motivational Interviewing for Advanced Practice Clinicians
Timothy McCreary, PA-C

Motivational interviewing is well-established in evidence-based literature as being strongly correlated with improved patient outcomes. Tim McCreary, director of the DMSc psychiatry program at Rocky Mountain University, will demonstrate the difference between typical patient education and evocation of patient needs for education. He will also show how motivational interviewing techniques can be applied in the primary care setting.

Participants in this session will learn to:
  • Perform agenda mapping
  • Respond to patient ambivalence using sustain talk and change talk
  • Provide guidance to patients in a motivational interviewing consistent manner
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Advanced Practice Clinicians
Timothy McCreary, PA-C

Patient communities, particularly vulnerable populations of patients, are certainly in need of the right prescription, but more than that, they need compassionate medical providers that are more informed in the practice of the therapeutic “art” of medicine. In this session, PA McCreary will describe cognitive behavioral therapy as a therapeutic modality and provide an overview of treatment.

This lecture will:
  • Demonstrate how to construct a cognitive conceptualization based on the cognitive model
  • Define automatic thought and its role in the cognitive model
  • Provide examples of behavioral activation and hypothesis testing in the cognitive model