Becoming a Fellow or Distinguished Fellow

Take the Next Step in Your Psychiatric Career and Become a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

  • Fellow status is an honor that reflects your dedication to the work of the APA and signifies your allegiance to the psychiatric profession.
  • You are recognized by your colleagues in the Association as a member of a very select group.
  • All newly appointed Fellows are publicly recognized at the Convocation of Fellows and Distinguished Fellows, which is held every year during APA’s Annual Meeting.
  • You receive an embossed Fellow certificate and a lapel pin in recognition of your status.
  • Annual dues rates for General Members and Fellows are the same.

What are the guidelines and criteria for eligibility?

  • Must be a current APA General Member or Life Member in good standing.
  • Certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the American Osteopathic Association.
  • 30-day review period for the district branch to offer comments about the Fellowship candidate.
  • Approval by the APA Membership Committee in October.
  • Approval by the APA Board of Trustees in December.

How do I apply?

Are you an International Member? Learn more about International Fellowships here.


Why become a Distinguished Fellow?

Distinguished Fellowship is awarded to outstanding psychiatrists who have made significant contributions to the psychiatric profession in at least five of the following areas: administration, teaching, scientific and scholarly publications, volunteering in mental health and medical activities of social significance, community involvement, as well as for clinical excellence. Distinguished Fellow is the highest membership honor the APA bestows upon members.

"Excellence, not mere competence, is the hallmark of an APA Distinguished Fellow."

What are the requirements to be nominated for Distinguished Fellow?

  • Not less than eight consecutive years as a General Member or Fellow of the APA.
  • Certification by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, the American Osteopathic Association or equivalent certifying board.
  • Nomination is initiated by your local District Branch/State Association.
  • Three letters supporting your nomination must be received from current Distinguished Fellows or Distinguished Life Fellows.

The General Member or Fellow should be an outstanding psychiatrist who has made significant contributions in at least five of the areas listed below:

  1. Certification by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, the American Osteopathic Association or equivalent certifying board.
  2. Involvement in the work of the district branch, chapter, and state association activities.
  3. Involvement in other components and activities of APA.
  4. Involvement in other medical and professional organizations.
  5. Participation in non-compensated mental health and medical activities of social significance.
  6. Participation in non-medical, non-income-producing community activities.
  7. Clinical contributions.
  8. Administrative contributions.
  9. Teaching contributions.
  10. Scientific and scholarly publications.

To be nominated for Distinguished Fellow status, contact your local district branch/state association for information regarding the Distinguished Fellow process.