Who We Are

About The College

Founded on May 8, 1963, in St. Louis, Mo., The American College of Psychiatrists (The College) is a not-for-profit honorary association dedicated to providing continuing education to its Members, promoting the latest advances in the specialty, and supporting the highest standards in psychiatry.

The Board of Regents, which is made up of six officers and nine other Board Members, is the executive council of The College. The Board administers all professional and business affairs of the association, and oversees The College’s Member-driven committees.

Membership in The College is limited to psychiatrists who have demonstrated outstanding competence in the field of psychiatry, and who have achieved national recognition in one of the following fields: clinical practice, research, academic leadership, and teaching.  New Members must be sponsored by Fellows or Members of The College who are personally familiar with their work and career. 

To encourage involvement in The College, active Members are expected to attend at least one out of every three Annual Meetings.  At age 70, Members may assume Emeritus status, at which point they are no longer required to attend meetings or pay dues.

Serving Members

The Annual Meeting

The American College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Meeting offers Members a chance to exchange information and participate in high-quality continuing medical education programs in a relaxed setting. More than 50 percent of the Members attend the Annual Meeting. 

The College organizes each four-day Annual Meeting around a central theme. Typically, the program format includes large general sessions and smaller breakout courses.  Faculty members include leading scholars, clinicians, and researchers drawn from The College and the profession at large.

Themes from past Annual Meetings include:

  • 2023:  Lifelong Learning
    • 2022: "Hope is the thing with feathers"
    • 2021: Virtual Annual Meeting
    • 2020: A 20/20 Vision of the Future
    • 2019: The Future of Psychiatry: Embracing the Callenges
    • 2018: Gender and Mental Health
    • 2017: Creating a New Vision
    • 2016: Medicine in Psychiatry and Psychiatry in Medicine
    • 2015: Advancing Psychiatry
    • 2014: Creativity in Practice
    • 2013: Culture and Neuroscience in Psychiatry
    • 2012: Advancing Psychiatry: Neuroscience, Technology & Professionalism
    • 2011: Personality and Temperament: The Building Blocks of Behavior
    • 2010: Translating Scientific Advances into Psychiatric Practice
    • 2009: Preparing for the Future: What We Need to Learn and Teach
    • 2008: Interventions in Psychiatric Care across the Lifecycle
    • 2007: New and Evolving Treatments in Psychiatry 
    • 2006: The Role of Stress in Psychiatric and Medical Disorders
    • 2005: Advances in Psychiatric Treatment
    • 2004: Clinical Psychiatry in the Genetic Revolution
    • 2003: Psychiatry and Medicine: Integration Redux
    • 2002: How Modern Neuroscience and Clinical Practice Inform Each Other
    • 2001: Educating Psychiatrists for the 21st Century
    • 2000: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century
    • 1999: Bridges to the Future
    • 1998: Diversity in Psychiatric Treatments: Conflict or Integration?
    • 1997: Aggression and Human Survival
    • 1996: Thriving in an Evolving Health Care System
    • 1995: Psychotherapy in Psychiatry—What does the Future Hold?
    • 1994: Diagnostic and Treatment Challenges in an Era of Regimentation and Regulation
    • 1993: Toward DSM-IV: Important Controversies in Diagnosis and Treatment
    • 1992: Memories: True, False, and Absent

      Anual Meetings also include a variety of social activities, designed to allow Members and their spouses or partners to interact with colleagues and friends.

The College Newsletter

The College publishes an in-house newsletter three times a year, which it distributes to all Members.  

Advancement to Fellowship Status

In recognition of Members’ contributions to the field of psychiatry and service to the association, The College promotes individuals to Fellowship status.  

When the Membership Committee reviews applications, it looks for:

  • active involvement in The College (i.e.-attending five Annual meetings, sponsoring new Members or completing a term on a component*)
  • active contribution to the work of The College (i.e.-Annual meeting presenter) and,
  • a sustained and substantial contribution to the field or to the community

    (for more information, click here http://www.acpsych.org/membership/elevation-to-fellowship)

    *The President-Elect makes all assignments to components.

The Bowis Award

Each year, The College presents the Bowis Award to a Member or Fellow who has played an important leadership role in The College. The winner receives a gold medallion and a certificate of appreciation. 

Advancing the Specialty


The College acknowledges outstanding contributions to psychiatry by presenting the following Awards:

  • The Distinguished Service Award recognizes significant achievements and leadership in the field of psychiatry.  The Award consists of a gold medallion and a certificate.  The recipient receives travel, hotel, and free registration at the Annual Meeting.
  • The Stanley Dean Research Award honors an individual or a group that has made a major contribution to the treatment of schizophrenic disorders.  The Award includes a grant and a certificate. The recipient(s) also receives travel, hotel, and free registration at the Annual Meeting.
  • The Award for Research in Mood Disorders is given to an individual who has advanced the understanding and treatment of mood disorders. The awardee receives a grant, certificate, travel, hotel, and free registration at the Annual Meeting.
  • The Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education recognizes a teaching program that demonstrates innovation in psychiatric education. The Award consists of a grant and a certificate. One representative from the program receives travel, hotel, and free registration at the Annual Meeting. 
  • The Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry is given to an individual who has contributed to advances in geriatric psychiatry.  The College first presented the Award in 2004.  In addition to receiving a grant, a certificate, and travel expenses to the Annual Meeting, the awardee delivers a featured lecture at the meeting.
  • The American College of Psychiatrists awards Honorary Fellowships in The College to distinguished professionals who have made significant scientific and clinical contributions to the field of psychiatry.  Although Honorary Fellows do not pay dues and are not eligible to hold office or Committee Membership, they are invited to attend all College meetings. 

The Psychiatrists In-Practice Examination (PIPE®)

The Psychiatrists In-Practice Examination (PIPE®) is an evaluation tool designed to provide comprehensive self-assessment of professional skills for practicing psychiatrists, promote lifelong learning, and provide category 1 CME credits. This assessment consists of a 200 item, multiple-choice self-assessment examination, which covers the six core competencies currently specified by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

PIPE® is Web-based through The American College of Psychiatrists Web site. Test-takers are provided with feedback on each item, including a written discussion of correct responses and two reference citations directing test takers to additional information about each topic.

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has reviewed the Psychiatrists In-Practice Examination (PIPE®) and has approved this product as part of a comprehensive lifelong learning program, which is mandated by the ABMS as a necessary component of maintenance of certification.

Contributing to the Future of Psychiatry (Resident Opportunities)

The Psychiatry Resident-in-Training Examination (PRITE®)

One of The College’s most valuable contributions to the profession is the annual Psychiatry Resident-in-Training Examination (PRITE®).  The College designed PRITE® as an educational resource for psychiatric residents and training programs.  Each section of the exam focuses on a particular component of psychiatry, offering references to support and explain correct answers.

Nearly all psychiatry residents in the United States and many in Canada take the exam three to four times during training. PRITE® provides feedback to the individual residents about the status of their knowledge as compared to others at the same level of training.

In addition, the exam offers residency training directors insight into the performance of their residents on the PRITE® so that they can prepare and adjust their programs to make them more effective.

Created in 1978, the PRITE® consists of 300 questions and is divided into two parts. The content areas covered in the PRITE® are:

  • Neurology and Neurosciences
  • Growth and Development
  • Adult Psychopathology
  • Emergency Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Science & Social Psychiatry
  • Psychosocial Therapies
  • Somatic Treatment Methods
  • Patient Evaluation and Treatment Selection
  • Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Child Psychiatry 
  • Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry

A related specialty exam, the Child PRITE®, is designed for child fellows.  Its 200 questions survey child and adolescent psychiatry issues in depth.

The PRITE® Fellowship

The PRITE® (Psychiatry Resident In-Training Examination) Fellowship Selection Committee chooses PRITE® Fellows to serve at least one year on the PRITE® Editorial Board.  Applications for Fellowships are received from PGY II and III general psychiatry residents and first year child fellows from residency programs throughout the United States and Canada. Their participation on the PRITE® Editorial Board provides a resident perspective to the exam as they participate in the question writing process, developing an assigned number of questions and then editing and referencing exam items.  Appointments to the PRITE® Editorial Board may be renewed for one year upon the approval of the PRITE® Editor-in-Chief.

The Laughlin Fellowship

Each year, The College selects 12 third-, fourth- and fifth-year Residents or Fellows from the United States and Canada and pays for them to attend the organization's Annual Meeting. The Laughlin Fellows are chosen from an elite pool of applicants deemed likely to make a significant contribution to the field of psychiatry. They participate in all educational and social functions held during the Annual Meeting, making valuable contacts with their peers and College Members.