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San Diego Psychiatrist Scott Irwin Honored With National Recognition
Date:5/27/2009

Palliative care psychiatrist from The Institute for Palliative Medicine plays unique role

SAN DIEGO, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Diego psychiatrist Scott Irwin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Palliative Care Psychiatry Program (PCPP) at The Institute for Palliative Medicine, has been elected as a Member of The American College of Psychiatrists (ACP). This recognition honors Dr. Irwin as one of only 750 practicing psychiatrists nationwide who have demonstrated outstanding competence in the field of psychiatry.

As Director of the PCPP, Dr. Irwin oversees the only psychiatry service at any hospice in the United States, working exclusively with patients and families receiving hospice and palliative care. PCPP combines clinical innovation, applied research, and education to improve mental health care for a seriously ill and highly vulnerable population at a critical time for patients and families.

"This is an extraordinary achievement for someone so early in his career," said Dr. Charles von Gunten, M.D., Ph.D., Provost of The Institute for Palliative Medicine. "Scott is unique in heading a program of palliative care psychiatry in a hospice. As a member of this organization, Scott will have the ability to advocate for better psychiatric care for all patients with advanced illness, and to the role that palliative care should play in all of health care."

As part of his effort to seek more effective treatments for patients, Dr. Irwin successfully secured a $154,000 career development grant from the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC). The award supports Dr. Irwin's study of methylphenidate (Ritalin) for the treatment of depression in hospice patients.

"This award was granted in an exceedingly competitive environment where there is little money to go around for new investigators in our field," notes Dr. von Gunten. "In obtaining research funding, the fir
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SOURCE San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine
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