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IMGs in a Specialty Society

A quick glimpse of the IMG Committee in a specialty society

The International Medical Graduates (IMG) Committee of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is one of the oldest, most active and integrated of IMG organizations in a specialty society.

The APA-IMG Committee was officially inaugurated in 1979, replacing a previous task force. In 1990 it underwent a name change and was later restructured in 2002. The APA-IMG Committee is comprised of six regular members and two corresponding members nominated by the APA president.

Organizationally, the APA-IMG Committee is under the Council of Minority Health Disparities and maintains a strong liaison with APA Committees of Asian-American and Hispanic Psychiatrists.

Its current chair is Sanjay Dube, MD who is a dynamic and hard-working leader. The APA-IMG Committee is charged with specific responsibilities to address IMG issues, such as commenting on matters of current and future legislation affecting IMGs and making recommendations to the APA on related positions.

The Committee meets twice annually, once at the APA Annual Meeting in May and again at the APA Fall Component Meeting. In both instances, the IMG Committee agenda is a busy one. At the Annual Meeting, the IMG Committee program includes a well developed workshop focused on significant cultural issues for psychiatry as well as a hospitality area offering various resources and information for IMGs.

Since 1992, the APA-IMG Committee has nominated an individual for the annual George Tarjan Award, which recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the enhancement and integration of IMGs into American psychiatry. It is noteworthy that two APA Presidents, Dr. Rodrigo Munoz and Dr. Pedro Ruiz, have come from the IMG psychiatric community.

Ongoing and forthcoming plans include leadership development and review of an IMG needs assessment prepared by the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP).

Members of the APA-IMG Committee have expressed a great interest in becoming involved and working with our AMA IMG Section.

Marie-Claude Rigaud, MD, MPH
Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Delegate, AMA IMG Section