The Singapore Psychiatric Association kindly supported my nomination to attend the World Psychiatric Association International Congress of Psychiatry (WPAIC) 2015 held in Taipei, Taiwan, from 18 – 22 November 2015. I was honored and privileged to have been awarded the Young Psychiatrist Award (YPA) to attend this conference.
The theme of the conference this year was “Bridging Asia to the World – A New Era for Psychiatric Treatment”. This theme is in line with the WPA mission of raising standards of patient care around the globe, of which a key aspect involves learning from each other. This conference brought together numerous international and regional renowned mental health experts who shared new interventions and strategies on providing excellent mental health care for our patients and their families, as well as discussed the interaction between Asia and the world in the field of mental health. In addition, a range of interesting topics pertinent to the future of psychiatry were discussed. These enlightening topics ranged from challenges to psychiatry and its public health implications, to state-of-the-art novel treatment for various conditions.
As an YPA awardee, I had the opportunity to interact with young psychiatrists from other Asian countries. These interactions enabled me to gain more perspective on how psychiatry is practiced in some of our neighboring countries and made me reflect upon how we can improve on patient care locally.
We also had the chance to meet distinguished forerunners in the field of psychiatry during the YPA sessions, including Professor Norman Sartorius, Professor Dinesh Bhugra and Professor Julio Licinio. Topics surrounding the past and future of psychiatry, developing leadership skills and strategies for getting published in leading medical research journals were discussed in depth.
This was truly an eye-opening and enlightening experience. I have forged valuable friendships with other young psychiatrists which I hope would translate into research collaborations in the future. I thank the SPA for granting me this valuable opportunity to participate in the conference.