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Membership FAQs

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The APA and the District Branches have a dual membership requirement General Members and Resident-Fellow Members for members in the United States and Canada. General Members and Resident-Fellow Members must join both organizations. Members in a New York District Branch are also required to join the New York State Association (NYSPA).

Upon review and acceptance of an application by the APA, you will be given provisional membership, and full APA benefits, while the District Branch (DB) reviews the application. If accepted by the DB, you automatically become a fully recognized member of the APA and DB. If a DB rejects an application, the reason will be provided along with a full refund of payment.

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.

If your membership lapsed more than a year ago, you must complete a new membership application by going to psychiatry.org/reinstate-with-apa. Once your application is received, 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.

If the last membership you had was as a resident or fellow and you have now completed training, 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 [email protected].

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), and Southern California Psychiatric Society (SCPS), will also waive all arrears dues, with the understanding that the member pays the full or pro-rated(by quarter) current year dues in advance prior to reinstating their membership. This option is available to all former members, including those who have received dues amnesty in the past.

TSPP requires 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. SCPS has a one-time amnesty policy. TSPP 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 APA Customer Service at 1-888-357-7924 or [email protected].

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. District branches, as separate organizations, set their own dues rates each year. District Branch may include charges for their larger Area or for assessments and/or local chapters. APA and District Branch dues rates.

When you report a change of address to APA, a request to transfer to a new District Branch should be made if moving to another jurisdiction in the U.S. or Canada. If the address update is made online, you will be contacted to determine if a transfer is required. A member is not required to transfer if you live in an area other than where you practice or if you are a member of the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists. Retired members who move are not required to transfer district branches may remain members of the branch with which they had been associated. A transfer from one district branch to another will be delayed until resolution of any charge of unethical conduct.

If a transfer is approved prior to January 1, you will be invoiced for APA and your new district branch. 

If a transfer is approved after January 1, your dues will be invoiced for you current district branch and they must be paid in full to complete the transfer. While the transfer can take place any time after January 1, you will not be invoiced for your new district branch until the following year. 

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.

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 transfer to your new district branch.

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.

Resident-Fellow Members are automatically advanced to General Member (GM) status upon completion of psychiatry residency training, which can also be done off cycle (before or after August). APA requires that members verify they meet the General Membership requirements by completing the General Member Verification Form. If a Resident-Fellow Member is continuing training in a fellowship program, the information must be reported to APA on the General Member Verification Form or email [email protected] so the member's status can be changed back to Resident-Fellow Member.

To be eligible to become a Fellow of the APA (FAPA) or International Fellow of the APA (IFAPA), you must meet criteria to become an APA General Member and hold a board certification at any time. The deadline for submission for each year is September 1. Once your application has been submitted, your district branch has 15 days in which to provide comments before it's reviewed by the Membership Committee and voted upon by the Board of Trustees. View More about APA Fellows here

Distinguished Fellows are nominated 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 must 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
  • Initial Certification by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, the American Osteopathic Association, or equivalent certifying board has been held at any time.
  • Primary identity must be psychiatry for those in combined fields
  • 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.
    • Involvement in the work of the district branch, chapter, and, if applicable, 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.

Learn more about APA Fellows and Distinguished Fellows here.

Beginning in 2022, Life Status is earned by reaching 30 years of qualifying membership (excludes membership as a medical student). Beginning in 2022, you may opt-in to either the Semi-retired or Retired membership categories if qualififcations are met.

The Rule of 95 Life status was sunset after the 2021 dues year for any new members entering this category. Those already in Life status will be grandfathered into this category and will continue paying reduced dues of 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.

If you meet the requirements for APA and the district branches retired or semi-retired membership categories, you may opt-in to either the discounted memberships at my.psychiatry.org and select ‘Retired Opt In’ at the bottom of the navigation. Your retired or semi-retired membership will begin with the next dues year unless you have not paid for dues for the current year, in which case your membership can be switched. Details and requirements for these options can be found here. For additional information, please contact our Customer Service department at 1-888-357-7924 or [email protected].

Members outside the United States and Canada - 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.

If you are facing unusual economic pressures, there are several temporary options that may be available to you. These options must be requested prior to dues payment for the year requested. For members on a scheduled payment plan, the request must be made prior to the first installment each January.

The Board of Trustees permits dues relief upon recommendation of the Membership Committee. All options are available for one-year, with the opportunity to apply for a second year if hardship persists unless otherwise noted. Options include:

  • Temporary Dues Reduction: Allows members to pay a 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, or the member rate to attend the annual meeting or have the ability to vote or hold Office.
  • 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, do not receive the member rate for the annual meeting, nor do they receive credit toward the Life status for those years of inactive membership. This option is permanent, and reapplication is not required.
  • To apply for any of the above options please submit a Dues Relief request form with any supporting documentation you may have.

  • Dues can be paid in full online using the Pay Member Dues link and logging in with your APA member ID number.
  • 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 at 1-888-357-7924 or 202-559-3900 to pay by phone.
  • Before you pay your dues, you may 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. Contact [email protected] to find out how to enroll.

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.

You must submit a resignation request in writing to the APA membership department at [email protected], or at

800 Maine Avenue Southwest,
Suite 900
Washington, D.C., 20024

Your membership will continue unless and until we receive your request to resign in writing.

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.

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 [email protected].

We are pleased to have any active member show that they are a member of the American Psychiatric Association in professional bios, CVs, and websites in written format. As a registered trademark, however, the APA logo may not be used for personal use.

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