Caroline Cassels

June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012 — A psychiatrist in private practice in Denver, Colorado, has been inaugurated as the American Medical Association's (AMA's) new president.

Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, who is former American Psychiatric Association (APA) Assembly Speaker, assumed the post this week at the American Medical Association House of Delegates meeting in Chicago. He is the first psychiatrist to be elected AMA president in 73 years and only the third psychiatrist in the organization's history.

Dr. Jeremy Lazarus

"It's a unique privilege to be only the third psychiatrist at the helm of the nation's largest physician organization. The AMA and APA enjoy a wonderful collaborative relationship, which I will continue to foster. I'll also note the need to better integrate mental healthcare into other aspects of medical care to provide more resources to treat more people."

Last year, in an interview with Medscape Medical News, Dr. Lazarus said one of his priorities during his term as AMA president would be greater integration of mental health services into mainstream healthcare.

"We're seeing the emergence of multispecialty groups where doctors from different specialties work under one roof or in some kind of virtual medical community. This creates more interaction among all of our medical colleagues, and that should increase the awareness of both the treatment and prevention of mental illness," he said.

Dr. Lazarus was first elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2003 and has served as speaker of the AMA House of Delegates, as president of the Colorado Medical Society, and as president of the Colorado Psychiatric Society.

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