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Stephen Read, MD

GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRIST

Dr. Read chose early in his career to devote himself to Geriatric Psychiatry, paradoxically the youngest medical specialty area, and he continues primarily to identify himself as a clinical Geriatric Psychiatrist. Dr. Read was one of the first United States fellows in Geriatric Psychiatry: He completed two years of intense training in a double program in Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurobehavior at UCLA in 1984. Dr. Read was certified in the subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry in 1991 at the first examination offered and was also named one of Los Angeles' "Best Doctors" in 1996. Dr. Read's clinical approach has emerged from a career of pioneering efforts in a diversity of settings:

  • Outpatient care in private practice, university, and VA settings--for evaluation, psychotherapy, medication, and complex family/systems management. Careful, personal detailed evaluation of the medical, social, and psychiatric elements of the situation and mental status forms the basis of clinical care, most recently leading to Dr. Read's developing of Psychiatric Home Physician Care Manage-ment for selected complex cases in private practice.
  • Acute and subacute inpatient care in private practice, university, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Acute hospital care remains necessary to ensure safety in certain clinical situations. Dr. Read's extensive inpatient care experience assists his early recognition of the potential for clinical volatility and ability to maintain patients in home and community settings.
  • Long term care: Dr. Read was one of the first geriatric psychiatrists to work extensively in the long term care setting. He received a commendation for his role in developing the Nursing Home Care Unit program at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Read then became the founding Medical Director of the John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer's Disease, where he pioneered clinical care models for patients with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. At the French Center (in Los Alamitos, CA) Dr. Read developed skilled nursing programs for patients with differing care needs. Under Dr. Read's direction, these programs were, in turn, integrated with assisted living, community care, day care, and with acute psychiatric care programs. In addition, he continued his previous research interests, completed several studies as Prinicipal Investigator, and became sought after as a speaker for professional and community groups.
  • Forensic: In 1993 Dr. Read accepted an invitation to serve as a consultant to the California Bar Association considering revision of the factors determining a need for conservatorship. He has since successfully completed the examination for subspecialty Board Certification in Forensic Psychiatry and has been retained as Forensic Psychiatry Consultant and Expert Witness in more than two hundred matters. He has written on the specific question of the capacity to marry and has extensive experience in the analysis of undue influence and abuse. He testified before the California State Senate Subcommittee on Aging (Chair: Senator Teresa Hughes) on financial abuse in the elderly in 1999 and was quoted in the September 2001 issue of Time magazine (restricted circulation) on the subject of protecting impaired elderly.
  • Professional/Academic: Dr. Read continues active teaching as Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the French Foundation for Alzheimer Research. He has been a member of the advisory boards of the Alzheimer's Disease Research programs at the University of Southern California, University of California Irvine, and at UCLA and reviews articles for several medical journals. Dr. Read has published more than forty articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and other media. Dr. Read is sought as a Public Speaker for community and professional audiences and has research experience as Principal Investigator in clinical, imaging, pathologic, and treatment studies in Alzheimer's Disease and other areas of geriatric psychiatry. Dr. Read's current research interests are in the areas of elder abuse, frontal lobe contributions to impaired capacity. Dr. Read is also an active collaborator in the UCLA PET studies of imaging the pathologic features of Alzheimer's Disease in life.

Although many expect it to be static, late life is one of the most dynamic periods in the human life span. In Dr. Read's view, differences increase as people age; preconception, therefore, is particularly unhelpful in Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Read also believes the breadth of his clinical perspective owes much to the wisdom of his family, to some familiarity with history and literature, and to the cosmopolitan mix of old and new, native, refugee, and immigrant that is modern Los Angeles.

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