Dr. Eric Fombonne elected to head two key associations

Published: 24 September 2003

The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is proud to announce that its Director of Psychiatry Dr. Eric Fombonne has been elected president of two key pediatric psychiatry associations. Dr. Fombonne is the new president of the Assemblée de chefs de pedopsychiatrie de l'ile de Montreal, which meets regularly with representatives of the Regie Regionale to address issues of access to services, availability of resources and development of child psychiatry services in Montreal and across Quebec. And in October he will assume the presidency of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Canada (APCAPC). This organization comprises the heads of the 16 Canadian academic centres and deals with issues such as the establishment of child and adolescent psychiatry as a separate specialty, the recruitment and retainment of young medical trainees in the discipline of child psychiatry, the attraction in Canada of international experts in the field, etc.

In 2001, Dr. Fombonne, a native of France, was appointed professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at McGill University, and is a Canada Research Chair recipient. He was also hired as the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre.

Dr. Fombonne came to Montreal from London where he was working as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital as well as the prestigious Institute of Psychiatry where he'd developed an international reputation for his research into autism and depression. He and his collaborators were able to show there is no evidence suggesting a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine with autism. He was also actively involved in the launching of the first molecular genetic studies of autism in the mid-1990s.

In May, Dr. Fombonne played a key role in the launch of The Montreal Children's Hospital's new Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic. The Clinic will help reduce waiting lists and speed up the diagnosis of children with the disorder. In addition, the new clinic will provide a range of services including a diagnostic clinic for children of all ages, a psychopharmacology clinic, a social skills group for adolescents with high functioning autism and Asperger's Disorder, and a parent group to provide post-diagnosis education and support.

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