Sign Petition to Enhance Inpatient Psychiatric Care in Iowa!

Talk about a petition! Get a load of this one by Iowa Wesleyan nursing students with well over 7,000 signatures protesting closure of Iowa MHIs presented to Governor Branstad’s office. Way to go Iowa Wesleyan!

Lisa Kongable Professor Nursing Iowa Wesleyan College leads nursing students in petition opposing the closure of MHI Mt Pleasant

"A strategic and constructive mental health treatment setting plan is desperately needed in Iowa. We need the MHIs for patient care as well as a valuable educational resource for health care professional clinical training in mental health services. Southeastern Iowa is definitely in need of expansion of mental health care services, rather than closing them."--Lisa Kongable Prof Nursing Iowa Wesleyan College

UIHC Psychiatry Resident Dr. Bennett Poss’s Take on the Planned MHI Closures

"The Governer's plan to close MHI's seems based more on hope than reality. In an ideal world, there would not be so many Iowans who do not need help for serious illness (whether it be cancer, infectious disease, mental illness, etc.). But the stark reality is that many Iowans suffer from severe illness and are not able to be safely cared for in the community. There is no easy solution for this problem, but it requires the dedication, expertise, and RESOURCES of all Iowans to help provide the proper care and compassion these individuals deserve."

UIHC Psychiatry Chief Resident Dr. Alex Gamble’s Take on Governor Branstad’s Planned Iowa MHI Closures

"We are asking the right question - what are we to do about our aging mental health infrastructure? But the answer - depopulating the facilities and assuming the already overburdened community resources will pick up the pieces - does not take into account the real needs of the most vulnerable members of our population or the realities of the current system. I urge the governor to work with those working on the front lines in our community to help find more appropriate solutions to address these pressing issues."


Jim Amos, MD. Click me to read Faculty Focus.

…Just in!

Geezer Grin

Help The Boards Find Their Google Glasses

I had a look at the first electronic version of Iowa Medicine, the Journal of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). The story that caught my eye was written by Dr. J.D. Polk, DO, “The Future of Medical Education.” It made me think that we need to help medical specialty certification board members find their Google […]


New Message to Iowa Governor About Planned MHI Closings

I saw the recent news story saying the Iowa Senate approved a bill that could halt the upcoming closure of the Mental Health Institutes at Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant until they can develop a plan to assure the patients there will get suitable long-term treatment. The legislature would approve the plan. I fired off a […]


What Shall I Retire To?

The other day one of the residents sent me this link, which he thought I might enjoy. I replied that I’d seen it before and actually posted about it shortly after it had been published. The residents know I have “causes” on which I spend a fair amount of energy and the Maintenance of Certification is […]

Worcester Recovery Center and Psychiatric Hospital

Different Perspectives on the Mental Asylum: Accusing Each Other?

I finally read the New York Times op-ed by Dr. Christine Montross “The Modern Asylum.” And I also read the comments on it in the letters to the editor section, which tell both sides of the story on mental asylums from people who know a lot about it. One of the letters was from Dr. Jeffrey Geller, who supports […]


Pecha Kucha: Can I Say What I Need to Say in 400 Seconds?

OK, I know I’m a geezer but why have I not heard about Pecha Kucha until today? Pecha Kucha is japanese, literally means “chit chat” and I gather it’s the antidote to those death by powerpoint talks we’ve all sat through at educational conferences. Speakers get through 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide  in 400 […]

Buddha in Fall

What Else Do I Do Besides Work?

The other day one of the medical students asked me what I do when I’m not on duty. Believe it or not, I can’t remember ever getting a question like that from a medical student. My first answer was that I don’t have a lot of time for much else but work. That’s not a […]

Dr. James Amos with coffee

Continuous Improvement

I recently read a post from Psych Practice blogger about a new board, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. I’ve also been notified of the efforts of a Harvard neurologist to persuade the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to simplify the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. Dr. Paul Mathew is promoting a petition, which you can […]


Iowa MHI Closure Plan Meets Constructive Activism

Well, the Iowa Wesleyan nursing students just delivered a blockbuster petition protesting Governor Terry Branstad’s plan to close the Mental Health Institutes (MHIs) at Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. Over 7,000 signatures so far and growing. Wow! Consider signing the other petition which is geared more toward developing a vision for long term inpatient mental health care […]


CPCP: Zonisamide and Psychosis by Resident Drs. Michele Morais and Nudrat Tasneem

Coming at you with another killer Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP), this time on Zonisamide (Zonegran) and psychiatric side effects with special emphasis on psychosis including manic psychosis. This was presented by resident physicians: Dr. Michele Morais, MD in Psychiatry and Dr. Nudrat Tasneem, MD from Neurology. They’re both doing an extraordinary job on […]

compeer johnson co

Count on Compeer of Johnson County Concert…and Dessert Reception!

Here’s a shout-out about Compeer of Johnson County and the upcoming fundraiser concert and dessert reception, The Sound of Friendship on February 28th, 2015. COMPEER is a local organization that works to match volunteers from the community with persons being treated for a mental illness, thereby creating one-to-one relationships aimed at reducing the loneliness, isolation and social stigma […]

Open Access

Predatory Publishers and Exasperating Editorialists

I found this story about a scientist who faked an article interesting. I recognized the problem of predatory publishers because I occasionally get spammed by them too. Then I remembered; a few weeks ago I found this paper about physician burnout entitled “Physician Burnout and Occupational Stress: An inconvenient truth with unintended consequences.” Click on the title […]

International Childhood Cancer Day

International Childhood Cancer Day 2015: Message from Luisella Magnani

Yesterday, I heard from Luisella Magnani who sent me a moving essay based on the International Childhood Cancer Day 2015 which is observed today. You can learn more about it from this Briefer on ICCD 2015. Luisella is Professor at the College of science of Linguistic Mediation of Varese, disciplines General Linguistics; Researcher at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, and Professor of Aesthetics […]

Happy Valentine's Day to my wonderful wife!

Happy Valentine’s Day to My Wife!

It’s that time of year again and it’s another year my wife has put up with me. Wow. She always helps me shovel the snow. She always raves about my specialty chopped salads. She always is happy to see me engage in my mindfulness meditation practice. She always helps me work on our income taxes. […]


Simply the Best: Residents of the Month for January!

So the word is out, the residents of the month for January are two juniors. Usually a junior and a senior are named. But these two juniors were too strong in January. They are Dr. Emily Morse and Dr. Andrew Segraves. Give it up for my nominees–simply the best. These two outstanding performers were the […]

Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care

GHHS Solidary Day for Compassionate Patient Care: Fostering Resilience

It’s about 10:00 at night as I sit down to write this post in recognition of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care tomorrow. It’s been a long day. The medical students, the residents, and I saw many patients today and the pace was so fast that we didn’t get […]


CPCP: Vocal Cord Paralysis and Anxiety, by Medical Students

Here’s a very interesting Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) presentation on the association between vocal cord paralysis and anxiety, about which consulting psychiatrists occasionally are called. The two senior medical students rotating on the service presented and did a very fine job. Jeffrey Coble is interested in doing a residency in anesthesia. Hodad Naderi […]


ABPN Response to ABIM Apology–No Apologies

Remember that letter of apology from Dr. Richard Baron, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to diplomates, admitting that the ABIM got it wrong about that awful Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program? Well, it must have caused quite a stir at other specialty certification boards because here’s the letter from […]

Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care

GHHS Solidarity Day 2015!

This is just a shout-out for this coming Friday, February 13, 2015 (the day before Valentine’s Day) Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, which was established by a U.S. Senate resolution in 2013 as a day officially recognized on our calendar. This is a day for medical students and anyone else […]

Worcester Recovery Center and Psychiatric Hospital

A Vision for Iowa: Turning “Stones of Fact to Miraculous Bread”

“…a vision turns stones of fact to miraculous bread.”–James Hearst, from Plea for Single Focus. I was struck by a quote from the Twitter site of one of the more recent signers of the petition to enhance mental health care access in Iowa, for which a big thanks goes to Joanna Garcia: For this is […]


The Iowa MHI Closure Plan: Could an Apology Work?

OK, I think it’s high time to publish all of the names and comments so far obtained on the petition to enhance mental health care in Iowa, specifically as it relates to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s plan to close two of the state’s 4 Mental Health Institutes (MHIs): Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. The link is petition-to-enhance-inpatient-mental-health-care […]

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GRECC Videos

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Delirium, Quiet and Excited

Coming at you with another one of those pristine videos from the VA GRECC, and this one is about hypoactive and hyperactive delirium. This is an incredibly well-crafted educational resource and I thank Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD for giving permission to post it. This is Delirium: Quiet and Excited, an educational video from the Department […]

Dr. Joseph Flaherty, MD

“TADA!” Tolerate, Anticipate, Don’t Agitate

“T-A-DA”stands for Tolerate behaviors that are challenging, but not dangerous; Anticipate needs of patients who are unable to communicate their needs; and Don’t Agitate patients who are cognitively incapable of processing the reasons why caregivers want to provide care for them which might be misunderstood. It’s taken from a paper written by Dr. Joseph Flaherty […]

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Agitation in the Hospitalized Older Patient

This is another one of those high-quality videos I posted about earlier, Spectacular Educational Videos by Department of Veterans Affairs « The Practical Psychosomaticist: James Amos, M.D. and which Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD gave permission to post. This is Agitated Behaviors in Older Hospitalized Patients, an educational video from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Geriatric Research […]

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

A Spectacular Video from the GRECC: Agitation in the Older Nursing Home Resident

This is another one of those high-quality videos I posted about earlier, Spectacular Educational Videos by Department of Veterans Affairs « The Practical Psychosomaticist: James Amos, M.D. and which Dr. Nina Tumosa, PhD gave permission to post. This is Agitated Behaviors in Older Nursing Home Residents, an educational video from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Geriatric […]

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James Amos, MD

Jim Amos

Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

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Hey, It’s Not All About Me

You can find a lot of educational content about Psychosomatic Medicine here, mostly about delirium (not the music group!). I give credit to all of my teachers. Some WordPress features (e.g. Presentation Shortcode) work better in other web browsers. In order to see the picture galleries of photos or powerpoint slides, click on one of the slides, which will open up the presentation to fill the screen. Use the arrow buttons to scroll left and right through the slides or up and down to view the annotations. To search educational University of Iowa presentations, go to URL Type my name to see mine—or just type “skinny”. Navigate to Category 1 CME from my blog site by looking under The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics menu under my blog title header, scroll to “Panopto UICapture Educational Presentations” (clicking that will take you to all presentations or type my name to see mine—or just type “skinny”), and hover to highlight “Health Pro Network Univ of Iowa CME”; or go to URL Enjoy!
Disclaimer:This blog is both fun and it's for educational purposes only. You should not use it as a substitute for medical advice from your personal physician.