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Kayla D. Johnson, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP
AAPP Program Committee Member
Clinical Pharmacist
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

Have you ever wondered if the chicken or the egg came first? How about a patient’s psychiatric, neurological, or medical symptoms? Medical or neurological conditions masquerading as psychiatric illnesses, or vice versa, may make for challenging diagnostic and treatment situations. Treatment may be initiated for the wrong underlying condition without a full evaluation of differential diagnoses, potentially prolonging appropriate management and worsening patient outcomes. Early intervention may increase the likelihood of appropriate medical management and decrease the chance of exposure to inappropriate or risky interventions. By increasing awareness of these potential issues, the psychiatric pharmacist will be able to help ensure safe and effective psychopharmacological interventions in patients with medical or neurological conditions which mimic medical conditions.

The 2023 AAPP Annual Meeting will feature a general session with a presentation from Dr. Jerry McKee who will be discussing the scenarios described above and shed light on which symptoms came first – psychiatric, neurological, or medical.

Specific objectives for Dr. McKee’s session include:

  1. Describe medical conditions that may present with psychiatric symptoms.
  2. Explain the pharmacist’s role in the differential diagnosis and management of medical “mimic” conditions.
  3. Review management strategies of psychiatric symptoms associated with medical “mimic” conditions to ensure safe and effective use of psychiatric medications.

Dr. Jerry McKee, PharmD, MS, BCPP is a psychiatric pharmacy specialist with over 30 years in public mental health systems in inpatient psychiatry and residential developmental disabilities, academia, and correctional mental health services. Dr. McKee is Board Certified in Psychiatric Pharmacy. He received his undergraduate and graduate pharmacy training at UNC, and currently serves as the CEO and Chief Consultant at Psychopharm Solutions LLC. He serves as an active member of many professional organizations, including the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, past president of the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists, past member and chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Psychiatric Specialist Council, and past member of  the BPS Board of Directors representing psychiatric pharmacy. Dr. McKee is a certified adult Mental Health First Aid instructor and is a staunch advocate for reducing stigma associated with persons who have a mental illness.

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