Clinical Practice, 1980- ♦ Chair of Psychiatry, Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 1995-2000 ♦ Medical Coordinator, Illinois Department of Mental Health, 1993-95 ♦ Director of Medical Student & Residency Education, University of Chicago, 1989-93 ♦ Director of Consultation Service, The University of Chicago, 1987-89 ♦ APA: Chair, Committee on Women, 1988-95; Chair, Joint Commission on Public Affairs, 1995-99; Speaker of the Assembly, 2001-02; Secretary, 2003-05; Vice President, 2005-07
APA is the public face, the voice, and the guardian of psychiatry. Whether
we like it or not, APA speaks for us and our patients: in the halls of
Congress, the offices of government officials, the courts, and the penal
system; in international organizations; in the bodies that determine medical
school and residency education; in organized medicine; with insurance and
managed care companies; in collaborations with mental health advocacy and
allied professional groups; and in the media. It is up to APA to defend our
patients' right to treatment and to privacy; our rightful scope of practice;
our fair compensation; our professional ethics.
As physicians, our greatest obligation is to the patients least able to
advocate for themselves: the poor, the imprisoned, immigrants, members of
minority groups. As government and private allocations shrink, we fight for
access to beds that our patients need in times of crisis, and for
compassionate outpatient care that minimizes those times.
APA supports scientific endeavors that provide ever-increasing insight into
the causes and treatments of disease and lifelong education that enables us to
bring those discoveries to the consulting room and the community. We are
physicians, not "providers," and we treat patients, not"
consumers"— because our obligations to our patients cannot
be commodified; they are sacred. We chose, and were fortunate, to become
physicians, investing years of study and practice that enable us to prescribe
medications safely and to fully integrate psychopharmacology with
psychotherapy. Our integration of science and caring attracts new generations
During my tenure as an APA officer, APA has become more user friendly. It
is easier to join, change membership categories, and transfer membership when
we move. Our budget is balanced, and information about our financial decisions
and transactions is clear and available to members. Outstanding continuing
education is available at our meetings, on our Web site, and in our books and
journals; we are the largest publisher of psychiatric books in the world. We
are hard at work on DSM-V. The work of our elected leaders and
committee members is enriched by their diversity in gender, sexual
orientation, ethnicity, and national origin.
We work every day to improve APA. Our Web site is not yet good enough; it
should be the first resource for our members and for members of the public. We
need a better strategy for countering powerful antipsychiatry forces. Our
district branches in small states need more infrastructure. We should be more
proactive in our media and public outreach. We must decrease pharmaceutical
funding as a percent of our budget.
To these tasks, I bring a wealth of career experience: individual
psychotherapy and psychopharmacology; psychiatric education and training;
consultation/liaison; and public and private system administration. I bring a
long history of contributions to psychiatry and APA: Congressional testimony;
media interviews ranging from Oprah to Bill O'Reilly, and media training for
our members; the promotion of women and minority individuals and issues that
enrich our science and care; insistence upon financial accountability for and
effective use of your hard-earned dues. With a task force and staff, I have
compiled an array of creative approaches to psychiatric care in underserved
areas; psychologist prescribing is not the answer. I developed a detailed
disclosure form for potential participants in the DSM-V development
process. A strong believer in collaboration with advocacy groups, I serve on
the Board of the National Mental Health Association.
The world in which psychiatry is practiced is changing at unprecedented
speed. I want to see APA discern the forces that will affect psychiatry in the
future so that we can shape those forces and be prepared to provide care we
can be proud of, to the millions who need us, for many years to come.