B eing named a 2017 Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association was the most recent of a constellation of honors awarded to Kenneth R. Kaufman, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and anesthesiology. Dr. Kaufman, Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society (2016) and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2015), is internationally known for excellence in his fields. His principal interests include psychopharmacology, psychiatric aspects of epilepsy, and the use of antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. There is a personal reason for his interests and expertise: Dr. Kaufman’s own history of epilepsy since childhood. Dr. Kaufman taught and practiced in Los Angeles for 16 years. Then, in 1996, he decided to return to the East Coast to be near his parents, who still lived on Long Island. The interview process brought him to the campus of Robert D A Devotion to Scholarly Work “In my practice, as in my research, I’m not a single-focus person. I want my patients and their families to know that epilepsy and other illnesses, psychiatric and medical, are conditions to be treated—not to be used as a label. Patients are people first, who incidentally have an illness,” says Kenneth R. Kaufman, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and anesthesiology (facing page, center), with wife Christine H. Kaufman (left), and son Nathaniel Kaufman. Wood Johnson Medical School, where he enjoyed conversations with faculty members that were collegial, intellectual, and academically stimulating. Of importance, too, was the knowledge that in the school’s relatively small Department of Psychiatry, he would be supervising medical students as well as residents but still have ample time for his extensive clinical practice. “It’s wonderful to have someone of Ken’s prominence on our faculty,” says Matthew Menza, MD, professor and chair, Department of Psychiatry. “He embodies the oldfashioned idea of the ‘triple threat.’ But he’s not only a very active clinician, teacher, and researcher; he’s also a dedicated mentor and tireless writer, who never hesitates to get involved—and involve others—in exploring new ideas.” 30 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE r. Kaufman is the author of more than 350 scholarly articles and abstracts, book chapters, and national and international presentations. He serves on six editorial boards and is deputy editor of the two-year-old British Journal of Psychiatry Open (BJPsych Open), published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom. “Ken’s enthusiasm for our business model and egalitarian approach to science has been remarkable,” says the journal’s editor-in-chief, Kamaldeep Bhui, CBE, MD, professor of cultural psychiatry and epidemiology, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. “BJPsych Open offers open access to high-quality research, which, although methodologically sound, might be overlooked were it not published in some of the high-impact journals—a terrible loss to the scientific community and the public.” Dr. Kaufman’s own work includes research on antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, as well as on drug-drug interactions and adverse effects. He is also committed to ethics, research design, studies on the psychiatric aspects of epilepsy, and advocacy for sports participation—without stigma—for people with epilepsy. He relishes his responsibilities as an editorial board member at Epilepsy and Behavior. In 2014, the journal published his commentary describing his own experience with epilepsy and its stigma, calling the journal “a professional and a personal home.” Founded in 2000, Epilepsy and Behavior focuses on the social and psychological impact of the disease, not on seizures. “Ken is one of the few psychiatrists in the country with a clinical interest in epilepsy, and he is the only one with clinical and personal experience,” says Steven Schachter, MD, professor of neurology, Harvard Medical School, the journal’s founder and editor-in-chief. “He may not think so, but he is very brave to write so openly about his own experience.” D Mentoring and Clinical Care r. Kaufman’s protégés, past and present, represent a wide spectrum of health care specialties and levels of experience. Dr. Menza notes that Dr. Kaufman makes a point of involving his protégés in writing and publishing, often as his coauthors, helping to hone their skills as scholarly writers while ensuring that journal readers see the research of a new generation of scientists. Dr. Kaufman sees a range of patients, the majority of whom do not have epilepsy. “In my practice, as in my research, I’m not a single-focus person,” he says, estimating that in more than 40 years as a clinician, he has seen approximately 40,000