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Supporting the Future of Psychiatry: SAMHSA Future Leaders in Psychiatry Program and Summer Medical Student Program Spotlight

  • November 08, 2023
  • Diversity News and Updates
2023 Medical Student Program participants pose for a photo during the 2023 Annual Meeting

By Jordan Brown

How does APA support U.S. undergraduate student interest in psychiatry? The Future Leaders in Psychiatry Program (FLIPP) is a SAMHSA-funded initiative led by APA’s Diversity and Health Equity Department.

FLIPP aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) medical school applicants interested in psychiatry, create a more equitable psychiatric workforce, and prepare future leaders to successfully enter the field of psychiatry. The 2022-2023 program cohort included 13 participants who were awarded:

  • A 12-month Kaplan MCAT preparatory course, an Association of Medical Colleges Medical School Admissions Requirement subscription to research medical schools.
  • A medical student mentor and a practicing physician mentor from one of APA’s seven Minority and Underrepresented (M/UR) Caucuses.
  • Six live, monthly career development sessions with professionals like Dr. Lee Jones, Dean of Georgetown University’s School of Medicine, or Dr. Amy Braun, an experiential learning specialist from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Travel and lodging expenses to attend APA’s Annual Meeting.

Continuous Improvement

Our FLIPP team is constantly looking to decrease barriers to access to our program and increase the quality of participant’s program experience. Looking ahead to the 2023 - 2024 cohort year, we are preparing several program improvements. Our most notable improvements for the upcoming year include increasing the program from 13 participants to 30 and increasing the monthly career development sessions from six to 12. The content of these monthly sessions will also be expanded beyond career development topics by including introductory sessions on various psychiatry subspecialities. The program team is also looking to improve participant communication methods and provide options for later session times to ensure we are meeting program participant needs.

Summer Medical Student Program

APA’s Summer Medical Student Program (SMSP) provides U.S. medical students who are interested in serving underserved communities the experiential learning, training, and professional development they need to be leaders in the field of psychiatry. Each January, we award 50 program participants from a variety of medical schools. This year, our participants came from 22 U.S. states or territories and 44 medical school programs. Program participants are awarded:

  • Travel and lodging expenses to attend APA’s Annual Meeting.
  • A $500 textbook certificate to APA Publishing.
  • Eight program sessions with accomplished psychiatrists on different psychiatry subspecialities during the summer.
  • Access to the online APA Learning Center, featuring learning modules focused on increasing cultural competency.

Medical leadership for mind, brain and body.

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