Every year APA and the American Psychiatric Foundation recognize a physician who has made significant contributions to the enhancement of the integration of international medical graduates (IMGs) into American psychiatry with the George Tarjan Award. Named after APA’s first IMG president, the award recipient receives a plaque and a $500 honorarium and presents an award lecture at the APA annual meeting or Institute on Psychiatric Services.
Jagannathan Srinivasaraghavan, M.D.
Last year’s recipient, psychiatrist Jagannathan Srinivasaraghavan, M.D. (“Dr. Van”), pictured at right, delivered the Tarjan Award lecture “International Medical Graduates: Enriching American Psychiatry and Good-Will Ambassadors Enhancing World Mental Health,” at the 2013 annual meeting. In his lecture, he recounted the growth of the IMG community in American medicine and recalled that Tarjan—whose 1984 presidential address was titled “American Psychiatry: A Dynamic Mosaic”—urged IMGs to maintain their own identity and forge a new identity as APA members. And Dr. Van drew upon his experience coming from India to forge a multifaceted career in American psychiatry as a clinician, educator, researcher, and administrator. Today he is a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and a forensic psychiatrist in Carbondale, Ill.
He also described his extensive travels around the world; he was featured in an August 17, 2012, Psychiatric News article, “Most Travelled Psychiatrist Completes Epic Quest,” detailing his travels to all of the 195 “officially designated nations on the planet.”
Drawing on the example of IMGs from countries around the world, he said that IMGs are “good-will ambassadors” to American and world health. “American medicine has evolved to include nearly 25 percent IMGs,” he said. “IMGs come from nearly every part of the world and have enriched American psychiatry, while at the same time many IMGs are giving back to their countries and regions and enhancing world mental health.”
The 2014 George Tarjan Award lecture was delivered at the annual meeting last month by Jose Canive, M.D. Recent award winners have included Milton Kramer, M.D. (2012), Renato Alarcon, M.D. (2011), Mantosh Dewan, M.D. (2010), Nyapati Rao, M.D., M.S., (2009), Albert Gaw, M.D. (2008), Nalini Juthani, M.D. (2007), and past APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D. (2006). ■