Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Puerto Rico District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association and the Puerto Rico Academy of Psychiarry

News from the APA disclosed a troublesome relationship between a Texas District Branch of the APA and other Texas psychiatric organizations that in my opinion is reason enough to understand why the Puerto Rico Chapter of the APA cannot be under the umbrella of the Puerto Rico Academy of Psychiatry.

See Psychiatric News at

We have a great collaborating relationship with the Academy and Dr. Neftali Olmo, its president,that supports Psychiatry in Puerto Rico.

I think references to the UMBRELLA of the Academy in this collaboration give the wrong impression and are innacurate.

Any references to the APA being under the Academy in the Bylaws, if there are any, are incorrect and innacurate and should be deleted.

Dr. Olmo has graciously addressed this issue to my satisfaction and I wish you to pass the word that we have a respectful working relationship as Dr. Olmo describes below.

Nestor J Galarza, MD, DFAPA


Puerto Rico Psychiatric Society

Dear Nestor:

I don't know the nature of those other organizations in Texas that are incompatible with APA membership according to current policy. I think District Branches need to adhere closely to directions coming from National APA.

I am sure that the Academy of Puerto Rico is not in competition with APA, both nationally or locally. As you know many of us belong to both. Our friend Tito, for example, belongs to "Children and Adolescents", Psychiatric Section of the PR Medical Association, APA, American Psychoanalytic Association, Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Association, International Psychoanalytic Association, and the Academy.

Furthermore, the Academy does not require dues, only membership to any of the three main psychiatric organizations in Puerto Rico. We are no more than just colleagues. We join forces for specific projects, such as our Annual Convention and cooperate in any community or political effort, for the benefit of patients first, for the benefit of our profession second. The term "umbrella" has been used in view of the fact that the Presidents of our three organizations are automatically Vice-Presidents of the Academy, and that they have veto power on any subject under consideration at the Academy.

In any event, I will abstain to refer to the APA-DB as part of an umbrella. Please let me know if any of the Academy's by-laws conflict with any APA by-laws so the we take it up in our next assembly and vote a correction or deletion of our by-laws. Please copy this letter to your Board of Directors.


Neftali Olmo Terron MD DFAPA
President, Puerto Rico Academy of Psychiatry
Distinguished Fellow American Psychiatric Association