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ACP and SMH Partner to Promote Depression Screening - National Depression Screening Day October 9 Honors Dr. Waxman

PHILADELPHIA - (September 30, 2003) The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Screening for Mental Health (SMH) are partnering to provide 3,100 randomly selected ACP internist members with outreach kits as part of National Depression Screening Day, October 9, 2003, an initiative that encourages communication and education about depression among primary care physicians and their patients. This year's outreach program is conducted in tribute to Herbert Waxman, MD, FACP, the late ACP Senior VP for Medical Knowledge and Education.

Dr. Waxman, who died in February, advocated depression screening in primary care and spearheaded past ACP participation in National Depression Screening Day. "Dr. Waxman encouraged internists and other primary care physicians to screen for depression before this practice became routinely recommended," said ACP President Munsey S. Wheby, MD. "As a result, over the past six years, thousands of ACP members have participated in National Depression Screening Day and reported it was helpful in identifying patients who may have otherwise gone undetected."

According to SMH, the Primary Care Outreach asks clinicians to screen all of their regularly scheduled patients on a single day, either on National Depression Screening Day, October 9, 2003, or at another convenient date, in order to take a snapshot look at depression and the other illnesses in their practices. The outreach kit includes self-screening forms with scoring instructions and referral guidelines, diagnostic aids, clinician's guide, and educational materials. The one-page screening form can be completed by the patient in the waiting room, scored by staff, and then placed in the patient's file for physician review.

The American College of Physicians was founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine. In 1998 it merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine, which was established in 1956 to study economic aspects of medicine. ACP works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. ACP membership includes more than 115,000 internists, medical residents, fellows and students.

Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800-523-1546, ext. 2655
E-mail: lteer@acponline.org

Page posted: 09-30-03

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