Where We Fit In

The Northern California Psychiatric Society is a District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association, and is one of five District Branches in Californa constituting Area 6 of the American Psychiatric Association.

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, the world’s largest psychiatric organization, is the medical specialty society representing more than 36,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Its members work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders. The APA is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry.

The mission of the APA is to:

  • Promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental disorders (including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders) and their families;
  • Promote psychiatric education and research; advance and represent the profession of psychiatry, and
  • Serve the professional needs of its membership.

APA's Strategic Priorities:

  • Advancing the integration of psychiatry in the evolving health care delivery system.
  • Supporting research to advance treatment and the best possible clinical care, as well as to inform credible quality standards; advocating for increased research funding.
  • Educating patients, families, the public and other practitioners about mental disorders and evidence-based treatment options.
  • Supporting and increasing diversity within the APA; serving the needs of evolving, diverse, underrepresented and underserved patient populations; and working to end disparities in mental health care.


The APA is divided into seven Areas, each representing either groups of contiguous states or, in the case of New York State and California, a single large state. The state of California is Area 6 of the APA. The Area provides the regional organizational structure as the interface between the APA’s Assembly and the District Branches and promotes the relationship between organized psychiatry and state governments.

District Branches

With the exception of New York State and California, each Area is further divided into District Branches, each of which represents a single state. Due to their size and complexity, Area 2, New York State, and Area 6, California, are further divided into several District Branches, each representing members in geographic subdivisions within the state. New York State has 13 District Branches; California has 5 District Branches. The Northern California Psychiatric Society (NCPS) is one of California’s 5 District Branches. The others are Central California Psychiatric Society (CCPS), Southern California Psychiatric Society (SCPS), Orange County Psychiatric Society (OCPS) and San Diego Psychiatric Society (SDPS). 


To be a member of any District Branch, including NCPS, a psychiatrist must also be a member of the APA. Conversely, to be a member of the APA, one must be a member of the District Branch representing the geographic area in which the psychiatrist lives. Involvement and participation with the Area derives from membership in the District Branch and the APA.


The Northern California Psychiatric Society is organized as a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of California. NCPS represents psychiatrists living and working in 18 counties in northern California, stretching mid-state and along the western coastline from the North border to San Luis Obispo County.


Part of your district branch membership benefits is the participation in state level policy and advocacy for the betterment of psychiatry and patient care. NCPS is aligned with the California State Association of Psychiatrists (CSAP), which advocates on behalf of NCPS, OCPS and SDPS, utilizing one of the top 10 lobby firms in the state, Shaw, Yoder, Antwih, Schmelzer & Lange.  You can learn more about our state advocacy efforts by clicking on the Advocacy tab at the top of our website. 


Some of these counties and/or regions have organized into Chapters, representing contiguous geographic localities within the jurisdiction of NCPS. Membership in a Chapter is open to any physician who is a member of NCPS.


Officers in NCPS include the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Representatives to the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association.


The Council derives its powers from the Society, including its policymaking function. The Council has general supervision of the affairs of NCPS. Voting members of the Council include the elected Officers, six elected Councilors-at-Large, Six Resident Councilors (one from each Residency training program within the territory of NCPS), the President or his/her designee from each of the chartered Chapters of the Society, and the two Immediate Past Presidents.

Executive Committee

The voting members of the Executive Committee of the Council are the elected Officers and the Immediate Past President. During intervals between Council meetings, the Executive Committee may exercise the powers of the Council. All actions of the Executive Committee shall be reported to and ratified by the Council at its next meeting.


NCPS has several standing committees, as required by the Constitution, and other committees representing constituent groups of NCPS, interest groups, and groups that perform specific functions as required or desired by NCPS.


To advance the quality and effectiveness of psychiatric care through advocacy, professional education and camaraderie.



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