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The mission of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society is to fully represent Pennsylvania Psychiatrists in advocating for their profession and their patients, and to assure access to psychiatric services of high quality, through activities in education, shaping of legislation and upholding ethical standards.







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Hello and happy November!

We hope you are adjusting to daylight saving time and are staying healthy this fall. Our sixth Psych-cess webinar is quickly approaching next week, and we are excited to highlight Dr. Shilpa Srininvasan and learn more about her experiences in geriatric psychiatry. We’ve included more details below and hope you will invite your resident, fellow, and early career psychiatrist members to join us for the virtual event! Below please also find our November Fact vs. Fiction resource, along with the attached 2022 Case of the Quarter – both of these resources may be of interest to your members.

PRMS Psych-cess: Geriatric Psychiatry
PRMS Psych-cess: Geriatric Psychiatry, geared towards residents, fellows, and early career psychiatrists will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, November 16, 6:30-7:30 pm EST and will feature geriatric psychiatry specialist, Shilpa Srinivasan, MD, DFAPA, DFAAGP. Dr. Srinivasan will share more about her experience during residency, the geriatric specialty, how she chose to make it her career, as well as, how she reached her current roles. Please share the attached flyer with your members, along with the registration link to sign up for free.


In his article from the Washington Psychiatric Society summer newsletter, Dr. William Lawson discusses the education and management of suicide among people of color. We hope you and your members enjoy this interesting post!

Have a nice November!

November Fact vs Fiction Resource

I will be retiring from practice soon and have decided to give my paper charts to the patients. I’ve researched record storage options; when I mentioned to a colleague the outrageous cost, they shared their plan to eliminate that cost by giving the record to the patient. I really like this solution because in addition to saving money, I will not have to deal with requests for records. Upon researching further, quite a few retiring psychiatrists are doing this, so I feel this is an appropriate plan.

What do you think - fact or fiction?

ANSWER: Fiction! Regardless of how many of your colleagues are doing this, it is inappropriate for at least the following reasons:

  • Failure to retain records may violate state law.

    For example, as noted by the Florida Medical Board:

    According to Rule 64B8-10.002(3), FAC : A licensed physician shall keep adequate written medical records, as required by Section 458.331(1)(m), Florida Statutes, for a period of at least five years from the last patient contact; however, medical malpractice law requires records to be kept for at least seven years.

  • Failure to retain records may constitute unprofessional conduct.

    For example, New York law includes the following within the definition of professional misconduct:

    Failing to maintain a record for each patient which accurately reflects the evaluation and treatment of the patient…. Unless otherwise provided by law, all patient records must be retained for at least six years. Obstetrical records and records of minor patients must be retained for at least six years, and until one year after the minor patient reaches the age of eighteen years;

  • Failure to retain records may violate your professional liability insurance policy.

    While coverage issues are handled on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific circumstances, most policies exclude coverage for “…error or violation of law committed by an insured or any person for whose acts an Insured is legally responsible.” So, for example, if a state law mandates that physicians retain medical records for up to six years, and a physician fails to do so, coverage for any claim that is related to this could be denied by virtue of this policy exclusion.

    Also, policies may have a cooperation clause precluding an insured from taking any actions that could limit the insurance company’s ability to defend the case. Not retaining the record could be such an action.

    But even if coverage is intact, by giving up control of the original records to the person who is most likely to make a claim regarding the care documented in them, a physician could be very severely jeopardizing their defense. The record could be altered, or there could be chain of custody issues resulting in the record being inadmissible.

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