Jun 26, 2019
Headline: Update on the American Psychiatric
Association – Part 2
By Jacqueline Posada, MD, 4th-year resident in the department of
psychiatry & behavioral sciences at George Washington
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
- 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
- Innovation in training at both undergraduate and graduate
levels is needed to increase the number of physicians across all
- 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
- Telepsychiatry improves access by decreasing stigma and
reducing commute time to and from patient visits.
- Both psychiatrists and patients save time and gain
- 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
- The group works to advance EBTs and new treatments.
- Recruitment of diverse individuals to psychiatry is
- “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
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