Newsletter December 2021

Hello medical students, residents and fellows!


We hope the application season is treating you well, and that you are taking some time for self care during this time of added stress.


We also hope you enjoyed the 2021 AACAP Virtual Annual Meeting during October, and found MSR sponsored mentorship events helpful.


If you were inspired to join our ranks of trainees passionate about supporting each other through organizing these and other mentorship and educational events, please join us for our monthly MSR committee calls!

Alissa Hemke and Cindy Chou

Co-chairs of AACAP’s Committee on Medical Students and Residents;

1/10/2022 @ 8pm ET
MSR Committee meeting
Join us for our open meeting at the Annual Meeting & start getting involved in the best Committee of AACAP! Learn more HERE
AACAP Component Meetings
Interested in being involved with our diversity components? Sign up for e-mail notifications HERE
1/5/2022 @ 2pm ET

Substance Use Committee meeting

Join the Substance use Committee's Quarterly journal club meeting and hear from guest presenters about their research work!
1/6/2022 @ Noon ET

Psychopharmacology Committee meeting

Join the Psychopharmacology Committee's call to learn about how trainees can become involved!


AACAP Component Meetings
Asian Caucus - 1/4 @ 8PM ET

Black Caucus - 2/8 @ 8PM ET

IMG Caucus - 1/18 @ 8PM ET

Latinx Caucus - 1/19 @ 8PM ET

ECP Committee - 1/ 4 @ 8PM ET


Submission for the AACAP 2022 Annual Meeting is now open! Learn more about the different types of presentations and how to submit your proposal HERE! As always, the AACAP MSR Committee is here to provide support for trainees participating in the Annual Meeting. Email us with any questions or concerns!
Submissions are due February 15, 2022!
Interested in making connections, meeting a mentor, getting your questions answered, and hearing career stories from people in our field? The AACAP MSR Peer Mentorship Program is a buddy system that pairs a senior trainee or early career psychiatrist with a junior based on interests! We are always excited to have people join this lovely family, so sign up today!
Help match up mentors & mentees by signing up HERE!
Become a mentee HERE!
Become a mentor HERE!
Mentor-Mentee Spotlight
"My peer mentor Dr Pereira-Sanchez supported me through the post-match season. He encouraged me to persevere and introduced me to the Global Mental Health Thinktank group. Through this community, I gained exposure to global trends in mental health research and made some friends along the way."
Titi Olubajo, MD
Research study coordinator
International medical graduate




"In our very first meeting, I realized that I had been lucky to be matched with my peer mentee Titilayo. Her indefatigable drive is grounded on faith, hope, and love for what she does and for people. I am happy to be able to support her in the early stages of her career in child and adolescent mental health."
Victor Pereira-Sanchez, MD, PhD
Early career child and adolescent psychiatrist
Former Alicia Koplowitz Foundation CAP fellow
Interested in sharing your stories with our community? Email us today with your thoughts - we look forward to hearing from you!
Below are some of our members' reflections on their 2021 AACAP Virtual Annual Meeting experiences. We hope some of their stories resonate with you, and inspire you to continue participating in our community.
"Reflections from a First-Time Attendee:

As an MS2 and first-time attendee to the 2021 AACAP Annual Meeting, I was blown away by the immense thoughtfulness and passion that went into each session. Because of school obligations, I regret I was not able to attend my first session until Wednesday of the second week, during which I joined University of Utah Triple Board Program Director Dr. Kristi Kleinschmit's breakout room at the MSR Meet & Greet. We had a rich discussion on what drew her to TB, and among the main reasons she mentioned was the ease in working across systems of care. I noticed on the schedule that there was a primer I could attend on that topic and added it to my list.

For the rest of the week, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the MSR mentorship programming nights by monitoring the flow of breakout rooms and facilitating discussion. I was glad to be paired with Dr. Afifa Adiba, an AACAP representative to the AMA who shares my interest in leveraging organized medicine for mental health advocacy, and Dr. Sarah Arshad, a TB physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who advocates for cultural humility and intersectionality frameworks in psychiatry. 

By the end of Saturday, I found myself with a massive backlog of more topics than I knew what to do with. As I reflect on the breadth of the recordings I had a chance to watch — from learning what a Pecha Kucha is to learning about the sobering implications of climate change on youth mental health — it appeared that the meeting left no stone unturned and had something for everyone. 

I now have a more concrete idea of which aspects of CAP I like and why, and I appreciate that AACAP can be a space to explore my interests in how Western norms of masculinity manifest in childhood entertainment and pop culture. I am so thankful to my mentors to help guide my career vision, and after viewing Dr. Ani Chakraborty’s (CAP at Wayne State University) and Bharat Sanders’ (MS4 at Medical College of Georgia) presentation “The Magic of Peer Mentorship” at the AALI Idea Forum, I understand the saying that even though our membership may be relatively small in numbers, our community is large and welcoming."


-- Rishab Chawla

Rishab is an MS2 at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. He is passionate about health policy & is involved in the group Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) & the AMA Medical Student Section. In his free time, he enjoys narrative writing & spending time outdoors. His mentor is Bharat Sanders (MS4, MCG).


"We medical students, as the youngest members of AACAP, have had a thoroughly unexpected introduction to our community. Though I have now attended two AACAP Annual Meetings, I still have yet to share a meal with or shake the hands of my future colleagues in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. However, in a year-and-a-half of Zoom meetings and conference calls, there is no meeting I looked forward to more than the AACAP 68th Annual Meeting. My expectations were exceeded – the experience was warm, welcoming, and wonderful. Somehow, child psychiatrists in general have a way of reaching through the screen and having connected conversations that made me feel like I was physically present in the room with my colleagues and mentors.

There were numerous incredible experiences, but a few moments that stood out the most. When Dr. Warren Ng, our incoming AACAP President, spoke to us about his own lived experience, and inspired in our community a new wave of JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) initiatives, I felt connected. During the session “Heroes Fail Too: The Power of Vulnerability and Self-Compassion”, when mentors and leaders in the field created a space of vulnerability and enabled our self-compassion, I felt connected. The AALI 2021 Idea Forum both provided me a space to contribute to AACAP, as well as to learning from others who were innovating and creating the next generation of projects – this helped me to feel very connected. For me, while the AACAP 68th Annual Meeting provided me immeasurable scientific content to help expand my knowledge-base in child psychiatry, I am most grateful for the meeting giving me the opportunity – during a very disconnected time in human history – to feel connected to my field and my future colleagues."


-- Bharat Sanders

MD Candidate, Class of 2022

Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University




"What I got from attending AACAP conference as an International Medical Graduate:


My experience as a participant and a volunteer at the 68th AACAP annual meeting was memorable due to many reasons. What stood out the most was my volunteer experience for life members and two-day mentorship programs that included hundreds of participants. I met accomplished yet humbled mentors and mentees. Listening to them share their journey to child and adolescent psychiatry in a completely honest and vulnerable way was the most incredible experience for me. I truly admire their commitment to helping guide younger generations to develop into their best potential. Everyone was extremely supportive, which was one of the reasons why I was drawn towards child and adolescent psychiatry ever since I was a medical student. I am very excited about my future and hope to get a chance to mentor others as well.


In terms of the sessions, like other attendees, there were plenty of topics that were appealing to me. I was fortunate to receive guidance from my mentor on what sessions to attend regarding my interests. The virtual format provided a bookmarking option, which was extremely helpful. Some of the sessions that stood out were “clinician roles in caring for transgender youth and their families in the acute care setting” and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). I learned new terminology and how the experts manage challenging cases of transgender youth, which inspired me to think of ways to better transgender care in my home country. Moreover, among many other advocacy projects shared at the meeting, I was particularly impressed by the TF-CBT training course provided for trainees in developing countries to help children who have barriers to mental health care. This meaningful work is representative of the benefit of telepsychiatry in promoting access to mental health care and is greatly appreciated by someone who comes from a developing country like myself. Additionally, writing and leadership workshops were very stimulating and enjoyable.


While virtual meetings rid us of the opportunity to interact in person, the networking opportunity was still there due to the hallway conversation option. However, informal interactions were greatly missed by many. Nevertheless, the AACAP meeting exceeded all my expectations. It allowed me the opportunity to connect with wonderful faculty and future colleagues, feel inspired by new research studies and advocacy work, broaden my clinical perspectives, as well as improve my creativity. Even though I am not yet a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I felt very well-respected and valued by mentors, mentees, and other participants. United by our common goals of contributing to the mental health of children and their families, I believe that the future of child and adolescent psychiatry is bright. I am grateful for this experience and look forward to attending more AACAP meetings in the future."


-- Lalita Thitiseranee

International medical graduate

Zhejiang University School of Medicine

AACAP is committed to supporting trainee involvement, particularly with an affinity to the groups below. If you are interested in joining any of these groups, sign up HERE.


Advocacy Liaison Network

Monthly on the 1st Monday @ 8PM ET


AACAP Alliance on Learning and Innovation

Every two months on the 3rd Tuesday @ 8PM ET


AACAP Diversity and Culture Committee

Monthly on the 4th Thursday @ 8PM ET

Components include: 

-- Asian Caucus - January 4 @ 8PM ET

-- Black Caucus - February 8 @ 8PM ET

-- IMG Caucus - January 18 @ 8PM ET

-- Hispanic Latinx Caucus - January 19 @ 8PM ET

Information about AACAP News are provided here. Contact for questions.
Information about JAACAP and JAACAP Connect are provided here. Contact the  JAACAP Editorial Office at or (202) 966-7300 ext. 153 for questions regarding potential topics, outlines, and articles.

JAACAP will publish a series of papers on the effects of race, racism, social justice, and health equity in child and adolescent psychiatry. These articles may include New Research, Reviews, Clinical Perspectives, Commentaries, Attachments, and Book Reviews. Authors are invited to submit proposals for consideration. This proposal should include an abstract and initial outline, along with the list of proposed authors, so that early feedback can be provided prior to the development of a full manuscript. An invitation to submit does not guarantee acceptance. All papers should conform to the appropriate author guidelines (see Guide for Authors) and will undergo peer review. Please direct inquiries and proposals to Please specify in your proposal that the submission is intended for the special series on race and racism.


Staying Pawsitive, one Pet at a time
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
- Ben Williams
"The best therapist has fur and four legs"
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