Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Podcast #57: A Matter of National Security

We kept this podcast a little shorter and strangely enough, we didn't ramble or argue or rant. Maybe it was a little boring?

Clink wanted to talk about a report she found online about Dr. Bruce Ivins, a researcher who was a suspect in the 2001 deadly anthrax attacks via the postal mail. Dr. Ivins died of suicide in 2008, and a group was commissioned to look at the process for obtaining security clearances, and where that process may have weaknesses. This gave Clink the opportunity to talk a little about issues that arise when psychiatrists get requests from the government for information about whether their patients pose a threat to national security.

Our links for this portion of our podcast are: A Wikipedia article about Dr. Bruce Ivins and the APA's official document called Psychiatrists’ Responses to Requests for Psychiatric Information in Federal Personnel Investigations.

Our last topic was about the management of pregnant women with opiate addictions and we discussed the use of methadone versus buprenorphine and the effects on the baby. Roy discussed an article from the New England Journal of Medicine, "Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome after Methadone or Buprenorphine Exposure."

At the end of the podcast, we mentioned that we're coming up on our 5th anniversary of Shrink Rap in late April. Roy had a surprise gift for us! Mugs with the cover of book on them! This was a fun gift. And I had brought chocolate ducks. But of course we took a picture.
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Rach said...

Great podcast guys. The conversation on national security clearance was quite interesting. Good work!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Rachel. I learned a lot about that whole anthrax period.

tracy said...

Love the mugs and chocolate ducks!

Anonymous said...

who knows why people laugh? there have been theories...

aristotle...baudelaire... freud stealing from aristotle and baudelaire...

i have to admit that when i saw this i howled. i don't love it solely because it is the ultimate expression of irrational and unfounded self-satisfaction, or that it turns a little problem into a mark of the ubermensch --(("neurosis or neurotic tendencies are a sign of superiority!)), i love it because it's a hardcover and it costs exactly $0.35...canadian! buy me a copy. my birthday is coming.

kamikaze1 said...

Excellent post about security clearance questions. This is the first opportunity I have had to read about this very germane issue. Questions about these clearances have been plaguing me for the past 10 years since 9/11. My biggest concern is the fine line we must walk between being supportive to a patient who is attempting to obtain gainful employment while also advising them that the nature of their illness may make obtaining a security clearance unreasonably difficult. For example, patients who have had histories of noncompliance with treatment, psychotic thinking, drug or alcohol abuse and missed appointments and violent behavior in the past or currently.
It happens more frequently than I would like, and it becomes a significant obstacle to maintaining a treatment alliance (Especially with patients who are probably most in need of treatment due to serious mental illness or documented substance abuse). My concern is that none of this time and care is compensated and the federal government needs to know that when a psychiatrist gives an answer in the affirmative on these forms, we probably will lose the the patient and a possible source of income so that answering these forms for active patients represents a conflict of interest for the patient as well as the psychiatrist. In addition, it is usually uncompensated.