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Sheldon Benjamin selected as director by American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

January 15, 2020
Sheldon Benjamin, MD

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has selected Sheldon Benjamin, MD, as one of its eight psychiatry directors. Dr. Benjamin, interim chair of psychiatry and professor of psychiatry and neurology, began his four-year, renewable term on Jan. 1.

“I consider this one of the most important roles that I’ll have in organized medicine because the deliberations of the board get at the core of what is expected of people in our specialty,” said Benjamin. “Its deliberations are quite important and I’m very excited to be at the table for these discussions.”

A psychiatry faculty member at UMMS since 1986, Benjamin founded the neuropsychiatry division, became director of psychiatric education and training in 1996 and was named vice chair for education of the department in 2009. Benjamin was the recipient of the Lamar Soutter Award for contributions to medical education in 2008; the Chancellors Medal for Distinguished Teaching in 2012; and the American Neuropsychiatric Association’s Gary J. Tucker, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award in Neuropsychiatry in 2018. He has been interim chair since 2017.

Board certified in psychiatry and neurology and in the subspecialty of neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology, Benjamin is nationally recognized for his contributions to both fields, having authored more than 100 publications and more than 30 chapters on all aspects of neuropsychiatry. He is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neuropsychiatric Association, for which he served as president from 2013 to 2015. He is also past president of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training. Benjamin’s involvement with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology dates back to 1997, the same year he became co-director of the School of Medicine’s dual neuropsychiatry residency that he helped create. The UMMS neuropsychiatry residency program is one of just four nationwide.

The ABPN was established for both psychiatrists and neurologists because of the similarity in their work and the fact that each field informs the work of the other. Its primary role is to set the standards of practice by determining certification criteria, updating and administering the board examinations, and representing psychiatry to other medical specialty boards and organizations. The board also collaborates with the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education to help set standards for residency training in both specialties and supports innovative educational and research programs relevant to psychiatrists and neurologists.

Benjamin assumes multiple responsibilities across these realms as a board director.

“This is a position of great national stature in academic psychiatry,” said Terence R. Flotte, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “Dr. Benjamin’s election to the board of directors is a point of distinction for our medical school.”

Related story on UMassMedNow:
Sheldon Benjamin receives Gary J. Tucker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Neuropsychiatry