Renée Binder, M.D., Takes Office as APA President

Thu May 21, 2015

ARLINGTON, Va. May 21, 2015 — Renée Binder, M.D., began her one-year term as President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting in Toronto on May 20, and Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., began her term as President-elect.

APA President Renée Binder, M.D.
APA President Renée Binder, M.D.

At the APA Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony, Binder said that the theme of her presidency of the world's largest psychiatry organization will be 'Claiming Our Future.' "As psychiatrists, we are the experts in mental health," Binder said. "We have the responsibility to ensure that psychiatrists of the future continue to deliver high quality care to our patients and have professionally satisfying lives."

She continued: "What type of practice will the psychiatrist of the future have? How will we fit into the new models of care? How will we integrate new research findings into our clinical practices? We must claim our future roles in all of this progress; otherwise, others will define our roles for us."

Binder is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Director. Her leadership positions in APA have included Board of Trustees (Trustee-at-Large), Committee on Judicial Action, chair of the Committee on Advocacy and Litigation Funding, and chair of the Council on Psychiatry and the Law.

Looking to her year as president, Binder outlined five areas of focus:

  • Psychiatric care in the general health care system, including continued efforts to make fair and equal insurance coverage of mental health a reality
  • Improving availability and quality of services for people with serious mental illness, working to end disparities in mental health care and meet the needs of diverse, underserved populations
  • Leadership in advocacy and ethics, including examining our code of ethics and ensuring that it is continuing to serve as the standard for practicing psychiatrists
  • Determining quality standards and serving as a source of reliable information about mental health for the public
  • Research and diagnosis, including continuing work on treatment guidelines, determining the most effective treatments and guiding the practice of psychiatry

Binder concluded: "It is clear that we have our work cut out for us. … Let us look to the future and claim our roles in the care of our patients and in enhancing the mental health care of our society."

Other APA leaders who took office after the Annual Meeting include:

Altha J. Stewart, M.D.

Early Career Psychiatrist Trustee-at-Large
Lama Bazzi, M.D.

Minority/Underrepresented Representative Trustee
Gail Erlick Robinson, M.D., D.Psych.

Area 1 Trustee
Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D., M.P.H.

Area 4 Trustee
Ronald M. Burd, M.D.

Area 7 Trustee
Jeffrey Akaka, M.D.

Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect
Stella Cai, M.D.

APA Assembly Speaker
Glenn Martin, M.D.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose more than 36,000 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at


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