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Association News
APA Board Hears Minority, DB Concerns
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 7 page 31-31
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Patrice Harris, M.D., Mary Alice Houghton, M.D., and Nang Du, M.D., take the Board of Trustees up on its invitation to come to Washington, D.C., and explain the concerns of the APA members they represent. Harris is chair of the Committee of Black Psychiatrists, Houghton is president-elect of the Wisconsin district branch, and Du is chair of the Committee of Asian-American Psychiatrists. 

At their March meeting in Washington, D.C., they heard from Mary Alice Houghton, M.D., president-elect of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association. Houghton began by acknowledging that she had "an ax to grind," which centered on her distress over the "sibling rivalry" that has split psychiatrists into biological and psychotherapeutic camps that seem to be at war with each other.

She called on APA to mediate the disputes between the two factions and to use its resources to heal the rift that she maintained is fragmenting her profession.

APA President Daniel Borenstein, M.D., also extended invitations to address the Trustees to the chairs of two of APA’s minority/underrepresented groups, Patrice Harris, M.D., of the Committee of Black Psychiatrists and Nang Du, M.D., of the Committee of Asian-American Psychiatrists.

Harris, who was just elected to the Board as an at-large trustee, noted that recruitment of black psychiatrists to APA remains a serious challenge and one her committee is pursuing vigorously. Committee members, she noted, go to a variety of meetings at which black psychiatrists may be in attendance and emphasize the value of becoming APA members. Also on the committee’s agenda is attendance at meetings of the Congressional Black Caucus and working with the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education to spur research on health issues affecting African Americans.

Harris urged APA to look to her committee to identify black psychiatrists to attend Congressional committee hearings, regulatory meetings, and other meetings where psychiatric expertise is vital.

The Committee of Asian-American Psychiatrists is also active in recruitment efforts, Du pointed out, including at the residency level, where they encourage their colleagues to join APA as a means of keeping psychiatry’s voice strong. Committee members also work at the medical-student level, where they try to convince future doctors to choose psychiatry, he said.

He hoped that APA could help identify nonmember Asian psychiatrists so that committee members could try to recruit them to join APA. Du also urged APA to identify in a new or existing member directory languages other than English that its members speak. This would be a valuable referral tool, he noted. ▪

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Patrice Harris, M.D., Mary Alice Houghton, M.D., and Nang Du, M.D., take the Board of Trustees up on its invitation to come to Washington, D.C., and explain the concerns of the APA members they represent. Harris is chair of the Committee of Black Psychiatrists, Houghton is president-elect of the Wisconsin district branch, and Du is chair of the Committee of Asian-American Psychiatrists. 

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