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Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., Is Named APA President-Elect

  • February 17, 2023
Ramaswamy Viswanathan headshot

Washington, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) members have chosen Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., DrMedSc, DLFAPA, as the medical society’s next president-elect. The results were released today but are not official until the APA Board of Trustees confirms them at its March meeting.

Viswanathan is currently professor, interim chair of psychiatry, director of the consultation-liaison psychiatry and fellowship, and co-chair of the Faculty Wellness Committee at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. He is board certified in psychiatry, internal medicine, and consultation liaison, geriatric, addiction and forensic psychiatry. His research has been in physician communication, ethics, innovations in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, treatment adherence in gynecologic cancers, children’s sickle cell disease, HIV, and substance use.

Viswanathan has held numerous leadership positions within APA and other national organizations. He currently serves as APA Assembly Representative and as chair of the Committee on Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry for the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. He previously served on the APA Board of Trustees as M/UR Trustee and as secretary for the New York State Psychiatric Association.

"I am honored that my colleagues in psychiatry have elected me to the APA presidency,” said Viswanathan. “I look forward to working together to further develop and expand our workforce and to keeping up our momentum on research and development of cutting-edge psychopharmacologic, neuro-interventional and psychotherapeutic treatment and preventive approaches. We will also work together to advance physician wellness, reduce practice burdens, advocate for our patients and our profession, address inequities in healthcare, and promote appreciation of diversity and inclusion.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Viswanathan and the other candidates on their election,” said APA President Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D. “I look forward to working with him and all the newly elected APA leaders to advance psychiatric practice and APA’s leadership role in increasing access to care and improving the quality of mental health care.”

Among Dr. Viswanathan’s priorities as APA president, when he assumes that role in May 2024, are to:

  • Enhance the quality of care patients receive and fight inadequately qualified people encroaching into psychiatric practice.
  • Augment the psychiatry workforce.
  • Increase funding for mental health research and services, including for substance use disorders, climate psychiatry, and children’s mental health.
  • Ensure satisfactory clinical work conditions and adequate reimbursement.
  • Reduce third-party-imposed-imposed burdens on public and private psychiatric practice.
  • Promote psychiatrists’ well-being.
  • Foster trainees’ and early career psychiatrists’ professional development.

“APA members and the profession of psychiatry will be well-served by Dr. Viswanathan’s leadership and commitment,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “I want to congratulate Dr. Viswanathan and all the newly elected APA leaders.”

Dr. Viswanathan’s term as president-elect of the APA will begin this May at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting, when current President-Elect Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., begins his one-year term as president. Other successful APA leadership candidates who will take office after the APA Annual Meeting in May 2023 include:

  • Secretary – Gabrielle L. Shapiro, M.D.
  • Minority/Underrepresented Representative (M/UR) Trustee – Kamalika Roy, M.D., M.C.R.
  • Area 2 Trustee – Kenneth B. Ashley, M.D.
  • Area 5 Trustee – Heather Hauck, M.D.
  • Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect (RFMTE) – Sarah El Halabi, M.D., M.S.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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