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National Depression Screening Day October 7, 2004

ACP, SMH Partner for Primary Care Depression Screening

PHILADELPHIA— (October 6, 2004) The American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization of doctors of internal medicine, and Screening for Mental Health (SMH) announce their partnership on behalf of 2004 National Depression Screening Day, October 7. The outreach program, now in its 14th year, encourages communication and education about depression among primary care physicians and their patients.

ACP and SMH are providing more than 3,000 ACP internist-members with a complimentary mental health screening kit. Internists who have participated in the past have reported that screening was helpful in identifying depressed patients who otherwise might have gone undetected.

The National Depression Screening Day Primary Care Outreach program is again being conducted in tribute to Herbert Waxman, MD, FACP, who until his death in 2003 was Senior Vice President for the ACP Medical Knowledge and Education Division. Dr. Waxman advocated depression screening in primary care settings long before it was a recommended medical practice.

ACP has authored several educational resources for physicians, and a brochure for the public, on the topic of depression. For example, "Depression," a book in the ACP Key Diseases series, edited by James L. Levenson, MD, includes practice guidelines for diagnosing and managing depression, and guidance for particular patient groups.

Additionally, ACP published in May 2000 guidelines for pharmacological treatment of acute major depression and dysthymia, and an online database of up-to-date diagnosis and treatment information is available through PIER (the Physician's Information and Education Resource), free to ACP members. The brochure for patients, "Depression and Anxiety," is available for free download.

ACP (Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.) is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Its mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. Membership includes internists, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.

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

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