Addressing several fiscal issues at its July meeting in Arlington, Va., the APA Board of Trustees voted to maintain the current
level of member dues for 2012. (There has only been one increase in national membership dues over the last 15 years.) The
Board voted as well to increase by $500 the dues amount for members who elect to use the one-time lump-sum payment option
in 2012. Finally, those who renew their APA membership for next year will be entitled to a one-time 50 percent discount on
the purchase of a book published by American Psychiatric Publishing, with the maximum discount set at $50. The offers expires
on December 12.
Also on the membership front, Joseph Rubin, M.D., chair of the Membership Committee, said the committee is focusing on increasing
the number of international members of APA and is planning several initiatives to accomplish that, including creating an ambassadors
program for existing members who travel to international meetings, contacting groups that represent international medical
graduates to see if their members want to engage in outreach to psychiatrists in their homelands, and advertising in international
In other actions, the Board voted to
inform the Board of Directors of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology of concern among APA members about the maintenance-of-certification
process and requirements.
reject, as it has in the past, a proposal to add Las Vegas to the roster of cities in which APA holds its annual meeting.
Among the reasons stated was that the city's large hotels would block out rooms for APA only on weekdays, which would necessitate
a major shift in the meeting's schedule. The Las Vegas hotels reserve large blocks of rooms for customers who gamble on weekends.
Some Board members also objected to the message that would be conveyed to the public if the nation's psychiatrists met in
the nation's largest gambling mecca.
create a Caucus on Spirituality, Religion, and Psychiatry, which will be under the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health
reaffirm APA's position statement on homosexuality and to send a letter to the Ugandan government explaining who APA represents,
referencing its position statement. Adopted originally in 1992, the statement says: "Whereas homosexuality per se implies
no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities, the American Psychiatric
Association (APA) calls on all international health organizations, psychiatric organizations, and individual psychiatrists
in other countries to urge the repeal in their own countries of legislation that penalizes homosexual acts by consenting adults
in private. Further, APA calls on these organizations and individuals to do all that is possible to decrease the stigma related
to homosexuality wherever and whenever it may occur."
The action was taken in response to legislation in Uganda to criminalize homosexuality and to mandate the death penalty for
HIV-positive gay people who engage in same-sex relations.
approve a position statement opposing proposed legislation to allow guns on college and university campuses. Such legislation
is on the dockets in about a dozen states. The statement reads: "The American Psychiatric Association views the prohibition
of guns on campus as a major health initiative that is necessary to ensure the welfare and well-being of students at institutions
of higher education and opposes legislation that would increase the risk to these students by allowing guns to be carried
ask the APA Elections Committee to simplify the election guidelines by considering the removal of restrictions on candidate
publications, presentations, and campaign communications. Much discussion centered on whether the rapid spread of social media
such as Facebook might affectâand complicateâhow candidates and their supporters communicate with APA members about election
issues. The committee is to look into whether rules regarding social media are needed to "ensure a level playing field."
retain the system used in the most recent election in which members for whom APA does not have a valid e-mail address will
continue to receive a paper ballot automatically. This rescinds a previous vote that would have made APA's elections all electronic,
thus ending the practice of mailing paper ballots to some or all members.
endorse a eating-disorders treatment brochure produced by the Academy of Eating Disorders. The brochure notes that "eating
disorders are serious mental illness with significant, life-threatening psychiatric morbidity and mortality" and emphasizes
the importance of "early intervention and timely recognition." It also discusses signs and symptoms, treatment goals, and
management of eating disorders. More information is posted on the academy's Web site at <www.aedweb.org>.