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Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., Dr.Med.Sc.

Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., Dr.Med.Sc.

Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., Dr.Med.Sc.

Candidate for 2023 President-Elect

A Message from the Candidate


Ramaswamy Viswanathan, M.D., Dr.Med.Sc., is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Consultation-Liaison, Geriatric, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatry. He is a tenured Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Director of C-L Psychiatry and C-L Psychiatry Fellowship, and Core Faculty of Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship and Psychiatry Residency at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, NY. He was Presiding Officer of the Faculty of the College of Medicine and is a senator to the 64-campus SUNY Faculty Senate. His research has been in physician communication, ethics, innovations in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, treatment adherence in gynecologic cancers, sickle cell disease, HIV, and substance use. He has numerous publications and presentations. He is well known for his pioneering emotional support groups for physicians, nurses and students during the Covid pandemic. He is in public and private sector, and has also a psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy private practice.

Dr. Viswanathan served as elected Trustee of the Minority and Under-Represented Groups on the APA Board in 2017-2019. Prior to that he served in the APA Assembly, authoring several influential action papers. In 2016-18 he served as Secretary of the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA). In the APA he has served as Chair of the Bylaws Committee, Vice-Chair of the Council on Member and DB Relations, and on Finance and Budget Committee, Council on Global Psychiatry, Committee on C-L Psychiatry, Nominating Committees, Assembly Committee on MOC, and other components. He is known for his work promoting the development and wellness of trainees and ECPs. He conducts an annual RFM Posters contest for the 30 residency programs in New York State. He has been on the NYSPA Legislative Committee for more than 25 years, advocating with federal and state legislators for our patients and profession. He is passionate about physician wellness, fighting unnecessary burdens and third party intrusions into our practice, protecting our scope of practice, and facilitating patients’ access to care. He collected about 800 signatures and placed on the 2011 APA ballot a referendum against burdensome MOC requirements. It was supported by 80% of the voters. Subsequently he founded the APA Caucus on MOC to continue reform efforts, and reduce financial and other burdens of certification. He is Chair, Committee on C-L Psychiatry, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. He is a past Chair, Finance Committee, Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. He is a member of AAAP, AACP, AADPRT, AAPL, ACLP, ACP, and AMA.


  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Madras Medical College, University of Madras, India
  • Doctor of Medicine, The University of the State of New York Education Department, Recognizing Above Education
  • Straight Medical Internship, Brooklyn-Cumberland Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Residency in Internal Medicine, Long Island Jewish — Hillside Medical Center, Queens Hospital, NY
  • Residency in Psychiatry, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Certificate Program in Sex Therapy, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Doctor of Medical Science, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, obtained after post-residency research training with dissertation in the School of Graduate Studies

Awards and Honors

  • APA Assembly Resident-Fellow Member (RFM) Mentor Award (2022)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, as a Faculty Member (2022)
  • APA Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Psychiatry Residency Education (2019)
  • State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2018)
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center Faculty Award for Committment to Excellence in Graduate Medical Education (2017)
  • APA Ronald A. Shellow Award for outstanding service to the APA Assembly (2017)
  • APA George Tarjan Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Integration of International Medical Graduates into American Psychiatry. (Award Lecture delivered on 5/22/17 at the Annual Meeting of the Association at San Diego, CA) (2016)
  • American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Mental Health (2016)
  • Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association (2011)
  • Physician of the Year Award, Kings County Hospital (2001)
  • Marquis "Who's Who in America" (2000)
  • APA Nancy Roeske Certificate for Excellence in Medical Student Education (1999)
  • Fellow, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (renamed in 2018 as Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry) (1996)
  • Castle Connolly Guide: The Best Doctors - New York Metro Area (1994 - Present)
  • American Association of Psychiatrists from India Outstanding Academician Award for distinguished contributions to mental health science (1990)
  • Fellow (later relabeled Distinguished Fellow), APA (1989)
  • Marquis "Who's Who in the World" (1988)
  • Marquis "Who's Who in the East" (1981)


  • James L. Griffith, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology; Former Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC.
  • Francis G. Lu, M.D.
    Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, Emeritus. University of California at Davis, CA.
  • Michael F. Myers, M.D.
    Professor of Clinical Psychiatry; Former Vice-Chair for Education and Director of Residency Training,
    Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences;
    Ombudsperson for Medical Students; Co-Chair, Learning Environment Committee.
    SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn, NY.
    Board of Directors, Bellevue Literary Review, New York, NY.
  • Henry M. Nasrallah, M.D.
    Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Mentorship;
    Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, & Neuroscience;
    Director, Neuropsychiatry and Schizophrenia Programs;
    Director, Psychiatry CME Programs.
    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.
    Founding Editor, Schizophrenia Research.
    Founding Editor-In-Chief, Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatry.
    Editor-in-Chief, Current Psychiatry.
  • Gail E. Robinson, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.
    Women’s Mood and Anxiety Clinic: Reproductive Transitions, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • Alan F. Schatzberg, M.D.
    Kenneth T. Norris, Jr., Professor;
    Former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
    Stanford University School of Medicine, CA;
    Co-Editor-in-Chief, Textbook of Psychopharmacology.
  • Altha J. Stewart, M.D.
    Senior Associate Dean for Community Health Engagement;
    Director, Division of Public and Community Psychiatry;
    Director, Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being.
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN.
  • Rajesh R. Tampi, M.D., M.S.
    Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry;
    Inaugural Bhatia Family Endowed Chair in Psychiatry.
    Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE.
    Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Health Behavioral Health Services, Omaha, NE.
    Professor of Psychiatry, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH.
    Professor of Psychiatry (Adjunct), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
    Editor-In-Chief, World Journal of Psychiatry (WJP).
  • Sanya Virani, M.D., M.P.H.
    Attending Forensic Psychiatrist, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital;
    Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
    University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA.
  • Jose Vito, M.D.
    Child, Adolescent, and Addiction Psychiatrist; Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY.

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