Maria Oquendo Takes Office as APA President

APA President
Maria Oquendo, M.D.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Maria Oquendo, M.D., began her one-year term as President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting in Atlanta on May 18. At the same time Anita Everett, M.D., began her term as President-elect.

At the APA Annual Meeting Opening Session, Oquendo introduced her theme for the coming presidential year, “Prevention Through Partnerships.” She emphasized that prevention is the future of American medicine and of psychiatry and that the best way to work toward prevention will be through collaboration with colleagues in primary care and other specialties.

“In thinking about the many ways that APA makes a difference for our members and our patients every single day, it seems to me that we can also leverage our membership and leadership to develop partnerships with other disciplines in medicine and with the community,” Oquendo said.

Oquendo is currently the residency training director at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, where she started as a community psychiatrist. She is professor and vice chair for education at Columbia University. Oquendo also serves as vice president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and serves on the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology’s Council and the National Institute of Mental Health’s National Advisory Mental Health Council.

“This is an amazing time to be a psychiatrist because the field is on the cusp of major discoveries,” Oquendo said. “We know more about the brain than ever, and new treatments—ranging from pharmacology to behavioral interventions—are being developed. We are poised to join our sister disciplines in medicine to develop preventive strategies. I’m excited about this opportunity to lead the APA at this important time.”

Other APA leadership taking office after the APA Annual Meeting include:



Area 3 Trustee

Area 6 Trustee

Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect

Bruce Schwartz, M.D.

Richard Summers, M.D.

Roger Peele, M.D.

Melinda Young, M.D.

Uchenna Okoye, M.D., M.P.H.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose 36,500 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.

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