Medical leadership for mind, brain and body.

This is the trade-marked strap-line for the American Psychiatric Association.

Over my 25 year career as an NHS Scotland psychiatrist I have seen many of my colleagues travel to America for the Annual American Psychiatric Association Conference [my understanding is that for most, the costs of flights and accommodation were paid by the pharmaceutical industry].

The 2019 Conference is underway and is being held in San Francisco. In attendance are several senior representatives of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists, including the President, the Chief Executive Officer, the Dean and the Registrar. It is important to be clear that they will be doing so as representatives of the Royal College of Psychiatry and have no affiliation with industry.

Bruce J Shwartz, MD is to be the next President of the American Psychiatric Association. His CV can be read here. It is based on this that the above pictogram has been compiled demonstrating his career-long partnership with the Pharmaceutical Industry. It is impossible to determine how much he may have been paid by industry over his career. He is now, in terms of psychiatry, in one of the most influential positions in the world.

There has been much discussion about “Realistic Psychiatry” and how difficult it is to achieve this when one of the primary drivers of current practice is the pharmaceutical industry. Commercial interests have always been much more visible in the US. It will be interesting to see whether the experience of those attending on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists can add to the growing discussion of Realistic Psychiatry in the UK.


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