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Hosted by Editor in Chief Lorenzo Norris, MD, Psychcast features mental health care professionals discussing the issues that most affect psychiatry.

Jun 26, 2019

Headline: Update on the American Psychiatric Association – Part 2


Show Notes

By Jacqueline Posada, MD, 4th-year resident in the department of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at George Washington University, Washington.

Lorenzo Norris, MD, interview with Saul Levin, MD, MPA, CEO and medical director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Levin also is clinical professor at George Washington University.


Improving access to care and impact of psychiatrists is imperative.


  • Finding a doctor: More physicians need to be trained. Increasing the number of physicians can be accomplished through initiatives funded by the government and by private medical centers.
    • Innovation in training at both undergraduate and graduate levels is needed to increase the number of physicians across all specialties.
    • Debt repayment: The APA is encouraging the federal government to diversify its loan repayment options, such as by making it possible for psychiatrists to practice in more diverse but underserved places in exchange for loan repayment.
  • Getting to a doctor: Telepsychiatry and collaborative care are means of increasing access.
    • Collaborative/integrative care: The psychiatrist acts as an adviser to a whole team and then offers direct patient care in more complex cases.
    • Telepsychiatry improves access by decreasing stigma and reducing commute time to and from patient visits.
      • Both psychiatrists and patients save time and gain convenience.
  • Using evidence-based treatments (EBT) is important in psychiatry.
    • One goal is to advance the use of EBT to enhance the impact of psychiatric treatment, especially by using quality measures (for example, the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire) to validate the impact of treatment.
    • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given grants to medical associations such as the APA to create quality measures to quantify/validate the impact of treatments in an effort to foster more EBT in psychiatry.


Conclusion: Advocating on behalf of people with psychiatric disorders requires a broad approach.

  • The APA lobbies for fairness, parity, and quality treatment.
  • The group works to advance EBTs and new treatments.
  • Recruitment of diverse individuals to psychiatry is important.
  • “Moonshot” level research is integral to the advancement of psychiatry and the mental health of the patients.
  • The APA strives to balance a mission of government advocacy and individual psychiatrist education.


APA Innovation Lab 

Mental health parity advocacy 

Advocacy and APAPAC


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