2021 Reed Lecture
The UVA Medical Alumni Association is pleased to present the 2021 Reed Lecture featuring Andy Thomson, MD ’74, Res ’77. The lecture, “Deploying the ABC Model of Suicide Risk Assessment: Aloneness, Burdensomeness, Capacity for Suicide,” will focus on suicide risk assessment and prevention. At the conclusion of this activity, participants should:
- Understand the theoretical and empirical basis of the ABC algorithm.
- Understand the basis for the bargaining to burdensomeness continuum of suicidality.
- Understand why diminished blink rate might be a sign of commitment to kill oneself.
- Understand the theory of why the capacity for suicide is a human universal.
- Understand the reasons health care professionals are at greater risk for suicide.
This event is open to current students (MD, BIMS, MSTP) of the UVA School of Medicine.
Registration is required and includes a boxed lunch to take with you following the lecture.
About Andy Thomson, MD ’74, Res ’77
Dr. Thomson received his M.D. degree and psychiatric training from University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has been a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at University of Virginia’s Student Health Center since 1994.
He previously served as the assistant director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University of Virginia, which involved interdisciplinary interventions and research in large group ethnic and political conflict, primarily in the former Soviet Union.
Thomson serves on the clinical faculty at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University. He has published on a variety of topics including narcissistic personality disorder, evolutionary theories of depression, antidepressants, criminal behavior, the function of serotonin, post-traumatic stress disorder, arrogance, evil, religion, suicide terrorism, and the psychology of racism.
In 2010 his work with Paul Andrews on an evolutionary theory of depression was featured in Scientific American Mind and the New York Times magazine. With Russ Federman, he co-authored Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (2010). He also authored Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith (2011), which has been translated into Spanish, German, Polish, Italian, Turkish, and Urdu.
His current interest is in Darwinian psychiatry, evolutionary medicine, and evolutionary psychology and their applications to clinical depression, antidepressant medications, religious belief, substance abuse, well-being, resilience, suicide risk assessment, and psychiatric illness.