Allen Pack MD

by Allen T. Pack, M.D.
Chairperson, DPSS

The 2014 Distinguished Psychiatrist

This October much changed. We switched the location to the Faculty Club, since the Alumni Center was in the midst of construction. The format changed as well. We had the customary lecture following the faculty association meeting, but then a complimentary lunch was served accompanied by a second presentation. That meant more CME: four hours altogether.

Our Distinguished Psychiatrist for 2014 was Salman Akhtar, perhaps the most popular psychoanalytic lecturer in the country at this time. He has over 300 publications; this includes eight volumes of poetry! He serves as a professor at Thomas Jefferson Medical College. He has lectured broadly, both nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards in both the fields of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, most notably the Irma Bland award as the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in America. As most of you know, the raison d’être of the Distinguished Psychiatrist Seminar Series is just that: to provide our residents a modicum of teaching in the area of psychoanalytic psychotherapy by the luminaries in the field.

Dr. Akhtar’s two lectures were on the paired phenomena of generosity and gratitude. His topics were in a different universe from the DSM, and different as well from the more common conflict-driven psychoanalytic topics.

Dr. Salman Akhtar

Salman Akhtar, M.D.

Allen Pack MD and Salman Akhtar MD

Allen Pack, M.D. presenting DPSS award to Salman Akhtar, M.D.

Lecture One: "Generosity-Developmental, Cultural and Clinical Aspects"

Lecture Two: "Gratitude-Developmental, Cultural and Clinical Aspects"

The 2013 Distinguished Psychiatrist

Controversy. That may as well be Allen Frances’ middle name. Not that he exactly channels Ariel Sharon, but he is totally fearless at speaking his mind. We got the best of him as our Distinguished Psychiatrist in 2013.  He opined at length about the new DSM, its creation and its impact. He not only discussed its impact on psychiatry, but also on mental health care delivery as a whole in the coming decade. He was not optimistic. We found him to be a delightful mix of eloquence and humility. His case conference on Friday night with the psych residents was equally involving. Held at Napa Valley Grille, it was the best attended resident conference in our series with “standing room only”.  The case was complex, the discussion was lively, and pretty much everyone present took part.  Dr. Frances shone, not only as a clinician, but also as a facilitator.

Allen Frances, M.D.

Allen Frances, MD.

A video of Dr. Frances' lecture is available.

On the Friday evening before the meeting the DPSS lecturer traditionally meets with the psychiary residents to discuss a case presented by one of them. Discussions are typically informal and informative. The next day at 10:30 AM following a 15 minute break after the business meeting, the speaker is introduced by Chairperson Allen Pack, M.D. After speaking, the lecturer receives the DPSS plaque.

The first Distinguished Psychiatrist lecturer was James Masterson, M.D. The seventeen others who have received this honor are Drs. Glen Gabbard,  Ethel Person,  Robert Michels, Otto Kernberg, Robert Naborski, Mardi Horowitz, Lenore Terr, Vamik Volkan, Roy Menninger, Russell Meares, John Gunderson, Anthony Bateman, Marcia Kraft Goin, Richard Green, Peter Kramer, Allen Frances and Salman Akhtar.


Allen Pack MD and Peter Kramer MD

Allen Pack, M.D. presents the DPSS award to 2012 recipient Peter Kramer, M.D.

Richard J Metzner MD and Otto Kernberg MD

2001 DPSS honoree Otto Kernberg, M.D. with PCFA past-president Richard J. Metzner, M.D.