Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact my district branch?

View district branch contact information and websites.

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Do I have to be a member of a District Branch/State Association or can I only apply for membership at the National level?

The APA and the District Branches/State Associations have a dual membership requirement General Members and Resident-Fellow Members. General Members and Resident-Fellow Members must join both organizations. Members in California and New York belong to the state association and local district branch. The state-level dues help sponsor professional development opportunities, local meetings for networking and continuing educational programs, newsletters , and even state-level lobbying efforts for the advancement of psychiatry.

How do I reinstate my membership if I am a former member of the APA?

If it has been less than a year since your membership lapsed, you just need to pay the current year’s dues to reinstate your membership.

For those whose membership lapsed more than a year ago, you must complete a new membership application by going to psychiatry.org/join-apa. To expedite your application process, you may request a pre-populated application with your current information on file from the Membership Services Department at 1-888-357-7924 or membership@psych.org. Once your application is received and dues are paid, your application will be sent to the district branch for approval. For more specific information regarding district branch approval, please contact your district branch directly.

For resident and fellow members advancing to general membership, you may need to complete the General Member Advancement Form to confirm your completion of a psychiatric residency and eligibility for membership. Please contact the Membership Services Department with any questions about this process at 1-888-357-7924 or by email at membership@psych.org.

Do I have to pay my outstanding dues to reinstate?

At the national level, APA forgives past dues for all former members who have not been active members in the APA for more than nine months. The APA and all district branches with the exception of Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians (TSPP), Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society (GLIPS), and Southern California Psychiatric Society (SCPS), will also waive all arrears dues, with the understanding that the member pays the current year dues in advance prior to reinstating their membership. The advance dues will be pro-rated quarterly based on the reinstatement date. This option is available to all former members, including those who have received dues amnesty in the past.

District branches TSPP, GLIPS, and SCPS require reinstating members pay outstanding dues for the period from the time of membership lapse until the member was removed from the district branch’s rolls. TSPP, GLIPS, and SCPS will consider granting dues amnesty on a case-by-case basis. However, past APA national dues are still eligible for dues amnesty. For the specific dues amount that would be required to reinstate or for additional information, please contact our Customer Service department at 1-888-357-7924 or membership@psych.org.

How much are membership dues?

The APA charges different dues rates for different member classes. Dues are reduced for the first six years of General Membership, to ease the burden of membership for early career psychiatrists. National dues for the APA are separate from district branch or area dues. The district branches set their own dues rates each year. District Branch dues can sometimes include additional charges for their larger Area or for smaller local chapters which they encompass. APA and District Branch dues rates.

I just moved recently, but my last invoice still billed me for former district branch dues. How do I transfer my district branch?

When a member reports a change of address, the automatic transfer process is triggered. Address changes are also reported by the district branch and the postal service. Once an address change is made, you will be notified that the transfer process has begun. This will allow you time to stop the process if you have a valid reason to remain in your current district branch (e.g., retirement). You have 45 days to respond to the notification letter.

In order for the automatic transfer process to proceed, your dues to the old district branch must be paid in full, since the APA requires dues to be paid to the branch you belong to on January 1 of the year in which you transfer. Transfers out of your former district branch will not be approved until your dues are paid, and you will continue to receive invoices at your new address with open dues owed to the old district branch.

Dues are paid to only one district branch in a calendar year, so the new district branch will not bill you during the current year in which you transfer.

I live in one district branch area and work in another. Which one do I belong to?

You may choose which branch you would like to belong to if you live in one and work in another. Most members choose to join the branch where they work, since the lobbying efforts of that branch will most affect their practice.

If I am retired and move, do I have to transfer my district branch membership?

No. If you are retired you may retain membership in the branch you belonged to when you retired. You will need to notify us by phone, mail or email that you wish to remain with your current district branch. In those cases, the automatic transfer process will be stopped.

What about my dues? Are there special rates for retirees?

Yes. If you are at least 70 years old and are fully retired (earning no income from the profession, including consulting work), you may request a Retired Member Dues Adjustment form to fill out and return to our department. National dues are reduced by 50% and you would continue to receive all benefits of membership appropriate to member class and status. Local dues adjustments vary by branch.

Do you have a branch for members in the Military?

Yes. The Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists is a district branch created specifically for members in the military, who may move frequently, and even live outside the country. If you are currently serving, you may choose to join the Uniformed Services branch, or you may choose to be a member of the district branch where you are living. If you join the branch where you live, you will be required to transfer your branch membership each time you move. When you are no longer in active service, you will need to transfer to the branch where you live or work.

I've been out of training since June. How do I change my member status to General Member?

Resident-Fellow Members are automatically advanced to General Member (GM) status upon completion of psychiatry residency training. APA requires that members verify they meet the General Membership requirements by completing the GM Verification Form. If a Resident-Fellow Member is continuing training in a fellowship program, the information must be reported to APA on the GM Verification Form or email membership@psych.org so the member’s status can be changed back to Resident-Fellow Member.

How can I become an APA Fellow?

To be eligible for Fellowship, you must meet criteria to become an APA General Member and have board certification. The deadline for submission is September 1. Once your application has been submitted, your district branch has 30 days in which to provide comments before it's reviewed by the Membership Committee and voted upon by the Board of Trustees.

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What's the difference between a Fellow and a Distinguished Fellow?

Distinguished Fellows are nominated first by their district branches before being recommended for approval by the APA Membership Committee and voted upon by the Board of Trustees. Candidates for this category have to meet more comprehensive criteria, including significant achievement in several areas of psychiatry.

These include:

  • Minimum of eight consecutive years as an APA General Member or Fellow
  • Primary identity must be psychiatry for those in combined fields
  • The General Member or Fellow should be an outstanding psychiatrist who has made and continues to make significant contributions in at least five of the areas listed below. Excellence, not mere competence, is the hallmark of a Distinguished Fellow.
  • Certification by the ABPN, RCPS(C), or AOA or equivalent certifying board
  • Involvement in the work of the district branch, chapter, and state association activities
  • Involvement in other components and activities of APA
  • Involvement in other medical and professional organizations
  • Participation in non-compensated mental health and medical activities of social significance
  • Participation in non-medical, non-income-producing community activities
  • Clinical contributions
  • Administrative contributions
  • Teaching contributions
  • Scientific and scholarly publications
  • At least three letters of recommendation from Distinguished Fellows or Distinguished Life Fellows.

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When will I reach Life status?

You reach Life status when your age plus your total years of membership equal 95. At that time, your dues will be reduced to 2/3 the full rate for five years, and then further reduced to 1/3 the full rate for the next five years. After that, you will be dues-exempt.

I'm about to retire. Is there a retired membership category?

No, not at this time. However, if you are fully retired and no longer wish to pay dues, you may apply to become an Inactive Member. Inactive Membership must be approved by your district branch and the APA Board of Trustees. It is a dues-exempt category that would allow you to still attend the Annual Meeting and fall Institute on Psychiatric Services at the member rate, but you would no longer receive the publications (The American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric News) for free. To apply for this status, you will need to complete an Inactive Membership request form.

My finances are rather tight right now and I'm not sure I can afford to pay my dues. Do I have any options?

If you are facing unusual economic pressures, there are several temporary options that may be available to you.

Dues relief

The Board of Trustees permits dues relief upon recommendation of the Membership Committee. Options include:

  • Temporary Dues Reduction: Allows members to pay a certain percentage of their dues.
  • Temporary Dues Waiver: Members experiencing temporary conditions involving significant hardship may request a waiver of national dues.
  • Temporary Inactive Status: Allows members to continue their membership, but inactive members will not receive the benefits of membership such as The American Journal of Psychiatry or Psychiatric News unless paid by subscription. This status is granted on a yearly basis.
  • Permanent Inactive Status: Allows members that are unable to continue as an active member of the APA as a result of full retirement, debilitating illness, or similar severe hardship. Permanent Inactive members do not receive the publications of the APA except by subscription, nor do they receive credit toward the Life status for those years of inactive membership.
  • To apply for any of the above options please submit a Dues Relief request form with any supporting documentation you may have.

I am interested in the various methods of paying my members dues. What are my choices?

Dues can be paid in full online using the Pay Member Dues link and logging in with your APA member ID number. Members can elect to enroll in the APA Scheduled Payment Plan to have membership dues charged to a credit card in monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual installments. American Express, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted. In most cases this can be arranged for both national and district branch dues and can be renewed automatically if you wish. Dues may also be paid by returning your invoice stub with credit card information or a check in the envelope enclosed with your invoice. Invoices are mailed approximately every two months throughout the dues year. Members can also call APA Customer Service toll free at 888.357.7924 or 703.907.7300 to pay by phone.

I do not want to continue my APA membership but want to remain a member of my district branch (or vice versa). What are my options?

Dual membership is a requirement of maintaining APA membership. Joint APA and district branch membership makes for stronger representation and promotion of the profession. The district branch offers more personal interaction and deals with issues on the state level. The district branch and the APA work together to bring you information, educate the public and provide development opportunities.

I wish to resign my membership in both the APA and the district branch. What do I need to do?

You must submit a resignation request in writing to the APA membership department at membership@psych.org, or at 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington, VA 22209-3901. Your membership with the APA is continuous unless we receive your request to resign in writing.

What if I do not agree with APA or district branch policies?

The APA and/or district branch represents diverse opinions and views that reflect the diversity of its membership. All members do not necessarily agree on all policies, but as a member you do have a voice and should use the opportunity to educate others about your views.

What are the benefits covered by my dues?

For a highlight of benefits, please visit psychiatry.org/mybenefits. If you like to discuss membership benefits in more detail, please contact APA Membership at 1-888-357-7924 or membership@psych.org.