On October 19, psychiatrist Peter Buckley, M.D., the dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University in Atlanta, was recognized by the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) with a lifetime achievement award for his leadership in public health and his commitment to the international study of serious mental illness.
Buckley was nominated for the award by the Richmond County Medical Society, which noted that the medical school has “undergone unprecedented expansion [under Buckley’s leadership], opening four new regional campuses in the past five years and increasing [its] medical class size…to become the 10th largest medical school in the country.”
The nominating medical society also referenced Buckley’s continued oversight of a research program focused on “the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia, including current studies on the genetics of schizophrenia, the psychopharmacology of relapse…and cognitive retraining.”
According to the MAG, Buckley negotiated a new contract with Georgia’s public mental health system upon becoming chair of the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry in 2000, helping to revitalize the quality of clinical care provided by the department, as well as its residency training and community outreach efforts.
Medical Association of Georgia Past President W. Scott Bohlke, M.D. (left), presents an award to Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the Medical College of Georgia, in recognition of his leadership in mental health services and research.
Georgia Regents University
In 2006, Buckley conducted a statewide audit of Georgia’s public psychiatric hospitals following allegations of negligent care. This effort “effected policy changes that improved inpatient psychiatric care across the state,” the MAG noted.
Prior to his work in Georgia, Buckley spent eight years at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he was a professor of psychiatry and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry. In 1994, Buckley became medical director of Western Reserve Psychiatric Hospital, a role that expanded over time to medical director for the Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare System.
Buckley, an APA distinguished fellow, has written or edited 12 books on schizophrenia and related psychiatric topics and is editor of the quarterly journal Clinical Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses. He is also a recipient of APA’s Administrative Psychiatry Award.
“Dr. Buckley is one of the premier leaders in psychiatry internationally,” said immediate past APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D. “He personifies outstanding leadership, clinical expertise, research skills, mentoring abilities, and passion for advocacy in our field. As the dean of a major medical school, he has shown how a psychiatrist can positively influence and shape the overall health care system at the state level. This could serve as a model for other states too. We can all be proud of the incredible accomplishments of one of our own in transforming clinical services, as well as medical education.” ■