McLean Alumna Rebecca W. Brendel Takes Office as APA President

June 3, 2022

Rebecca W. Brendel, MD, JD, a graduate of the MGH/McLean Hospital Adult Residency Training Program, began her term as president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the 2022 APA Annual Meeting in May.

“Rebecca is an exceptionally thoughtful and highly respected leader whose expertise and commitment to the field of psychiatry will be profoundly beneficial for the APA and the global community,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean.

“We are honored to have an alumna of the MGH/McLean residency training program serving in such a distinguished national role, and we look forward to collaborating with her on initiatives that advance our shared mission.”

Brendel has extensive APA experience, having served in numerous leadership roles, including as chair of the APA Ethics Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees, the Committee on Bylaws, and the APA Conflict of Interest Committee. Brendel has also served as a member of the APA delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) and is an APA Distinguished Fellow.

Brendel is director of the master’s degree program at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, of which she is also an associate director.

She bases her clinical work in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is the director of Law and Ethics at the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“We are honored to have an alumna of the MGH/McLean residency training program serving in such a distinguished national role, and we look forward to collaborating with her on initiatives that advance our shared mission.”

– Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief, McLean Hospital

Currently, Brendel is chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards, and in the third year of a seven-year term on the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

Brendel earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She completed her psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals, a forensic psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an ethics faculty fellowship at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. She is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

“As a proud member of APA for nearly two decades, I am so honored to assume the presidency in this important national moment,” Brendel said.

“As APA, we have an unprecedented opportunity to advance psychiatric treatment for those with mental illness, and to set the path forward for psychiatry’s promising future.”

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