Psychiatrist Saul Levin, M.D., a longtime member of the AMA House of
Delegates and the AMA's Section Council on Psychiatry, has been named vice
president of science, medicine, and public health at the AMA.FIG1
Saul Levin, M.D.: "A lot of the initiatives President Obama has
said he wants to implement will fall under my area of jurisdiction at the
Credit: Mark Moran
The appointment, which became effective last month, places Levin in a
position to oversee AMA activities in three important, overarching areas of
medicine: science, research, and technology; disaster preparedness; and
medicine and public health.
Levin has been associated with the AMA's policymaking House of Delegates
for nearly 20 years, much of it as a delegate to the Section Council on
Psychiatry. He was also a member of the AMA's Council on Long-Range Planning
"We are delighted that Dr. Levin will be bringing his experience and
talents to this extremely important role at the nexus of clinical medicine,
science, and public health," said Modena Wilson, M.D., M.P.H., senior
vice president of professional standards for the AMA, in a statement released
at the time of Levin's appointment.
In the area of science, research, and technology, Levin is helping to
develop scientific policy for the AMA. Among the organizations with which he
is working is the United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council. This council,
sponsored by the AMA, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, and the
American Pharmacists Association, serves the health professions in the United
States by selecting simple, informative, and unique nonproprietary names for
drugs by establishing logical nomenclature classifications based on
pharmacological or chemical relationships or both.
In the area of disaster preparedness, Levin will oversee the Center for
Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response, including the AMA's new
journal, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.
In the area of public health, Levin is responsible for coordinating AMA
policy regarding physician health, health care disparities, aging and
community health, and healthy lifestyles and primary prevention. He will also
work closely with the Council on Science and Public Health, which is chaired
by past APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D.
The council provides information and recommendations on medical,
scientific, and public health issues, and recently it has taken on such
high-profile issues as violence, obesity, legalization of marijuana, substance
abuse, and use of TASERs by law enforcement and health care
With a new presidential administration vowing to reform the nation's health
care system, developments in some of those issues will make headline news.
"It's a very exciting time," Levin told Psychiatric
News. "A lot of the initiatives President Obama has said he wants
to implement will fall under my area of jurisdiction at the AMA—from
science, research, and technology to aging and disaster
Levin previously served as president and CEO of Medical Education for South
African Blacks, an international organization that provided scholarships to
black South African students who planned to study health sciences. Before
that, Levin spent 10 years as president and CEO of ACCESS Consulting
International Inc., a health and human service policy, program, and research
consulting firm. Prior to founding ACCESS, he served as an appointee in the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington,
Levin said he hopes his experience with substance abuse issues can help to
spark a renewed focus on the subject at the AMA.
Members of the Section Council on Psychiatry expressed delight with Levin's
appointment, citing exceptional credentials he brings to the position.
"I've known Saul since he was a resident in psychiatry and was active
in the resident and then the Young Physicians Section [of the AMA House of
Delegates]," Robinowitz told Psychiatric News. "He has
the experience and knowledge of how the AMA works to serve as a bridge between
psychiatry and the whole house of medicine. And he has a special interest in
public health and in the conditions that psychiatrists treat but sometimes
fall through the cracks with other specialties.
"He has a broad understanding of how public policy influences
outcomes and supports the translation of science into clinical care as well as
into policy that serves the greater public. His unique experience in terms of
alcohol and substance abuse prevention and early intervention, and his work in
HIV and health disparities, will inform the work of the Council [on Science
and Public Health] and the entire AMA." ▪