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Professional News
Psychiatrists Win Election To Prominent AMA Posts
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 14 page 1-9

Psychiatry is moving up in the House of Medicine. Psychiatrists scored four valuable election victories at the annual policymaking meeting of the AMA House of Delegates in Chicago in June, putting psychiatry in key positions.

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Psychiatry scored important election victories at last month's meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, placing psychiatrists in key policymaking positions. Shown above at a reception for John McIntyre, M.D., who was elected to the AMA's Council on Medical Services, are (from left) APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D.; McIntyre; his wife, Ann, and granddaughter Janie Clements; Saul Levin, M.D.; APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., who became chair-elect of the Council on Science and Public Health; and APA Trustee David Fassler, M.D. 

Credit: Bob Kearley

In addition, APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., became chair-elect of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSPH). The CSPH reports on medical, public health, and scientific issues that affect the practice of medicine, the public health system, quality of patient care, and the translation of scientific research into medical treatment.

Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., a former speaker of the APA Assembly, was elected speaker of the House of Delegates, in which position he will preside over its meetings. Lazarus's experience with the AMA is extensive, having most recently served as vice speaker. He has also been chair of the AMA Board Task Force on Health System Reform, vice chair of the AMA National Advisory Council on Violence and Abuse, and chair of the AMA Foundation's "Uniting for the Future of Medicine" campaign steering committee.

This year, Lazarus helped lead the AMA's advocacy to get coverage for the uninsured as the AMA's principal spokesperson for the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured. He represented the AMA in the 2007 Ride for World Health, speaking about the need to make covering America's uninsured a top national priority. In addition, Lazarus provided AMA testimony against predatory contracting practices at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators.

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John McIntyre, M.D. (left), poses with psychiatrist Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., who was elected speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. 

Credit: Bob Kearley

John McIntyre, M.D., chair of the Section Council on Psychiatry and a former APA president, won a closely contested election to the AMA's Council on Medical Services, which recommends policies and actions for consideration by the AMA House of Delegates on socioeconomic factors that influence the practice of medicine.

For instance, the house last month approved a report written by the council that urges continued AMA support for the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as a priority. The report also calls on AMA to support efforts to expand coverage to uninsured children who are eligible for SCHIP and to support the program's reauthorization this year.

McIntyre told Psychiatric News that his goal as a council member is to help the AMA push for a policy ensuring that "every person has real access to high quality, affordable health care.

"Specifically, that has to include full coverage of individuals with mental illness," he added.

McIntyre noted that the AMA is already on record as supporting parity for treatment of mental illness. "I want to help those principles get translated into actual programs and policies that are specific in terms of including mental illness," he said.

Also winning election to the Council on Science and Public Health was psychiatrist Stuart Gitlow, M.D., M.P.H.

Gitlow is an addictions expert who has a degree in public health. He said he hopes to help the council apply critical judgment regarding methodology and other study criteria when assessing research brought before the CPHS." What I hope to accomplish is to make it so the council's output is based not only on an objective review of the literature but of how that literature was developed," he said.

At least one psychiatrist is now sitting on six of seven AMA governing councils. And psychiatrist Jo Ellen Ryall, M.D., ended her term on the Council on Constitution and Bylaws last month, leaving that the only council without a psychiatrist.

McIntyre congratulated the section council for its efforts—supported by APA staff, especially Eugene Cassel, J.D., director of APA's Division of Advocacy—in helping to build psychiatry's strength within the House of Delegates over the last few years.

"I think psychiatry has really reached a position of very significant influence in the House of Delegates," McIntyre said.

In addition to McIntyre, Robinowitz, and Gitlow, these other psychiatrists serve on AMA councils: Patrice Harris, M.D., Council on Legislation; Saul Levin, M.D., Council on Long-Range Planning and Development; Dudley Stewart Jr., M.D., Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs; and Emmanuel Cassimatis, M.D., Council on Medical Education. ▪

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Psychiatry scored important election victories at last month's meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, placing psychiatrists in key policymaking positions. Shown above at a reception for John McIntyre, M.D., who was elected to the AMA's Council on Medical Services, are (from left) APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D.; McIntyre; his wife, Ann, and granddaughter Janie Clements; Saul Levin, M.D.; APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., who became chair-elect of the Council on Science and Public Health; and APA Trustee David Fassler, M.D. 

Credit: Bob Kearley

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John McIntyre, M.D. (left), poses with psychiatrist Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., who was elected speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. 

Credit: Bob Kearley

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