30th Annual Conference of the Professions

COP 2016

Our Keynote Speaker

Colonel Elspeth Ritchie, MD, MPH, U.S. Army (ret.)

elspethDr. Ritchie is a forensic psychiatrist with especial expertise in military and veterans' issues. She retired from the Army in 2010 after holding numerous leadership positions within Army Medicine, including the Psychiatry Consultant. Most recently she was the Chief Clinical Officer of the Department of Behavioral Health for the District of Columbia. An internationally recognized expert, she brings a unique public health approach to the management of disaster and combat mental health issues.

She trained at Harvard, George Washington, Walter Reed, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and has completed fellowships in both forensic and preventive and disaster psychiatry. She is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Georgetown and Howard Universities. Her assignments and other missions have taken her to Korea, Somalia, Iraq, and Cuba.  

Her over 200 publications are mainly in the areas of forensic, disaster, suicide, ethics, military combat and operational psychiatry, and women's health issues. Major publications include the Military Medicine Textbook on Combat and Operational Behavioral Health, The Mental Health Response to the 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon, Mental Health Interventions for Mass Violence and Disaster, Humanitarian Assistance and Health Diplomacy: Military-Civilian Partnership in the 2004 Tsunami Aftermath, and the 2013 series on The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for the Treatment of PTSD in Military Service Members.  

She is the senior editor of the forthcoming volumes: Forensic and Ethical Issues in Military Behavioral Health, Women at War, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans: A Clinical Casebook. Under development are Intimacy After Injury: Restoring Sexual Health on Return from Combat and Personal Experiences of Psychiatrists in the Combat Zone.

Panel Discussion

Brian Farlow, JD, Partner at Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP
Lia A. Thomas, MD, Medical Director of Mental Health Trauma Services, USVA North Texas Health Care System
Rev. Canon Robert L. Young, SSC, Assistant Priest at St. Laurence Anglican Church

Byron Harris, retired WFAA TV Reporter, Investigative Journalist and Army Veteran, will serve as this year's moderator


Dallas Bar Association
Dallas County Medical Society
Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility
UT Southwestern Medical Center
SMU Dedman School of Law
SMU Perkins School of Theology

About the Conference

Conference of the Professions brings together members of law, medicine, and theology in the Dallas area to discuss common challenges—ethical and otherwise—facing these professions. The conference is a joint effort and collaboration between the Dallas County Medical Society, Dallas Bar Association, SMU Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, SMU Dedman School of Law, SMU Perkins School of Theology and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.