Maria Oquendo, MD, Next President-elect of the APA

March 26, 2015

- If you want something done, give it to a busy person. –Benjamin Franklin

Maria Oquendo, M.D., Vice Chair for Education, Director of Residency Training, and Director of the Clinical Core of the Conte Center in the Division of Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology at Columbia Psychiatry and NYSPI is adding another position to her already lengthy list. Beginning in May 2015, Dr. Oquendo will be President-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Dr. Oquendo was elected to the position with a strong mandate, receiving nearly 54% of the vote in a three-way race.   While she ran on a platform to serve the entire APA membership, she noted her dedication to “teaching and mentoring trainees and Early Career Psychiatrists.  They are the future of our profession.”

She intends to address key issues facing the field, including:

  • Securing a key role for psychiatrists as health care reform is implemented while ensuring high quality care for all, particularly persons with the most severe mental illnesses
  • Pursuing equitable reimbursement and true parity for psychiatric care
  • Securing robust federal funding for education and research, coordinating efforts with advocacy groups
  • Strengthening collaboration with psychiatric subspecialties and primary care
  • Ensuring effective representation of psychiatry to the public and government
  • Enhancing APA diversity including representation from women, ethnic minority psychiatrists, international medical graduates, LGBT and other minority groups

Dr. Oquendo noted that it has been a privilege to serve the as APA Secretary, as Chair of the Workgroup on Minority and Under-Represented Caucuses and the Conflict of Interest Committee as well as on other workgroups and components.  “I am delighted and honored to support the APA and its membership as President-elect and President,” she said, “we have wonderful opportunities to enhance our field and improve the lives of our patients.”

Congratulations to Dr. Oquendo! We look forward to reporting on her achievements as President-elect and then President of the APA in 2016.


Departmental News, Education & Training, InPsych - March 2015