The Society for Adolescent Medicine Conference
Two PSR physicians made a powerful presentation at the March 2007 national conference of the Society for Adolescent Medicine in Denver. The talk, entitled When Our Children Return From War, was presented by Evan Kanter MD, psychiatrist at the VA in Washington State, and Curren Warf MD, a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist in Los Angeles. This was the first time that consequences of the war in Iraq were addressed at the societyʼs national conference.
Over 1.3 million Americans have thus far served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Younger soldiers, more likely to be placed in combat situations, are most vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder. The Defense Department estimates that 400,000 of these veterans will have PTSD, the leading cause of disability among veterans. Medical and disability benefits for Americaʼs two wars will cost an estimated $400 to $600 billion dollars, making up a significant part of the estimated $2 trillion cost of the Iraq war.
Following this successful workshop, members of the Society for Adolescent Medicine formed a standing Peace Special Interest Group to continue to bring the issue of wars effects on youth to the national conference, and develop policy statements relative to peace for the organization.