Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions About Membership Dues and/or Status For APA Members, Former Members, and Prospective Members 

    Q: How do I contact my district branch?
    A: 
    Click here for district branch contact information and Web sites.

    Q: How do I reinstate my membership if I have been dropped or if I resigned?
    A: You will need to complete a
    new membership application. You can download it, print it out, and return it to us with a copy of your current medical license by fax to (703) 907-1085, or by mail to: 1000 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1825, Arlington, VA 22209 USA.

    You must complete a new application if any of the following apply:
     You were dropped more than 12 months ago.
    You have completed training and must reinstate as a General Member, but were dropped while you were still a Resident-Fellow Member. 
        

        Any local and/or national dues that were owing when you were dropped must be paid before you can reinstate your membership unless your former district branch participates in the dues amnesty program. Once your application is received and dues are paid, your application will be sent to the district branch for approval. When it is approved, you will be reinstated as of the month the approval is received. For more specific information regarding district branch approval, you would need to contact your district branch directly.

    Q: Do I have to pay my outstanding dues to reinstate?
    A: Yes - unless your former district branch offers Dues Amnesty for reinstating members. 
         

              You were a member of the Association and continued to receive the associated benefits, such as publications and discounts, until your name was removed from the rolls. Therefore, the "Operations Manual of the Board of Trustees" requires that former members who apply for reinstatement pay all past national and district branch dues/assessments. All financial obligations must be fulfilled prior to reinstatement of membership, unless exemption has been granted. For the specific amount of outstanding dues that would need to be paid, please contact APA Customer Service at 888.357.7924 or 703.907.7300.
         
             Some district branches offer dues amnesty for reinstating members. These branches waive past district branch dues that are owing, provided that the member pays all district branch dues in advance for the year they reinstate. The APA will offer dues amnesty of past national dues obligations only to members within those district branches offering amnesty as well, and with the understanding that the reinstating members will pay dues in advance for the year in which they are reinstating. The advance dues will be pro-rated based on the reinstatement date. Reinstating members must have been dropped or resigned from membership one or more years prior to reinstatement to qualify for dues amnesty. A member's former district branch is the deciding factor in determining eligibility for Amnesty. Amnesty is not applicable to those who have received it in the past. 
    Click here for a list of participating branches.

    Q: How much are membership dues?
    A: The APA charges different dues rates for different member classes. Dues are reduced for the first six years of General Membership, to ease the burden of membership for early career psychiatrists. National dues for the APA are separate from district branch or area dues. The district branches set their own dues rates each year. District Branch dues can sometimes include additional charges for their larger Area or for smaller local chapters which they encompass. 
    APA and District Branch dues rates

    Q: I just moved recently, but my last invoice still billed me for former district branch dues. How do I transfer my district branch?
    A: When a member reports a change of address, the automatic transfer process is triggered. Address changes are also reported by the district branch and the postal service. Once an address change is made, you will be notified that the transfer process has begun. This will allow you time to stop the process if you have a valid reason to remain in your current district branch (e.g., retirement). You have 45 days to respond to the notification letter.
         
    In order for the automatic transfer process to proceed, your dues to the old district branch must be paid in full, since the APA requires dues to be paid to the branch you belong to on January 1 of the year in which you transfer. Transfers out of your former district branch will not be approved until your dues are paid, and you will continue to receive invoices at your new address with open dues owed to the old district branch. 
         
    Dues are paid to only one district branch in a calendar year, so the new district branch will not bill you during the current year in which you transfer.

    Q: I live in one district branch area and work in another. Which one do I belong to?
    A: You may choose which branch you would like to belong to if you live in one and work in another. Most members choose to join the branch where they work, since the lobbying efforts of that branch will most affect their practice.

    Q: If I am retired and move, do I have to transfer my district branch membership?
    A: No. If you are retired you may retain membership in the branch you belonged to when you retired. You will need to notify us by phone, mail or email that you wish to remain with your current district branch. In those cases, the automatic transfer process will be stopped.

    Q: What about my dues? Are there special rates for retirees?
    A: Yes. If you are at least 70 years old and are fully retired (earning no income from the profession, including consulting work), you may request a Retired Member Dues Adjustment form to fill out and return to our department. National dues are reduced by 50% and you would continue to receive all benefits of membership appropriate to member class and status. Local dues adjustments vary by branch.

    Q: Do you have a branch for members in the Military?
    A: Yes. The Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists is a district branch created specifically for members in the military, who may move frequently, and even live outside the country. If you are currently serving, you may choose to join the Uniformed Services branch, or you may choose to be a member of the district branch where you are living. If you join the branch where you live, you will be required to transfer your branch membership each time you move. When you are no longer in active service, you will need to transfer to the branch where you live or work.

    Q: I've been out of training since June. How do I change my member status to General Member?
    A: Resident-Fellow Members are automatically advanced to General Member (GM) status upon completion of psychiatry residency training.  APA requires that members verify they meet the General Membership requirements by completing the GM Verification Form.  If a Resident-Fellow Member is continuing training in a fellowship program, the information must be reported to APA on the GM Verification Form or by email (membership@psych.org) so the member’s status can be changed back to Resident-Fellow Member.

    Q: How can I become an APA Fellow?
    A: To be eligible for Fellowship, you must meet criteria to become an APA General Member and have board certification. 
    The deadline for submission is September 1. Once your application has been submitted, your district branch has 30 days in which to provide comments before it's reviewed by the Membership Committee and voted upon by the Board of Trustees.

    Q: What's the difference between a Fellow and a Distinguished Fellow?
    A: Distinguished Fellows are nominated first by their district branches before being recommended for approval by the APA Membership Committee and voted upon by the Board of Trustees. Candidates for this category have to meet more comprehensive criteria, including significant achievement in several areas of psychiatry.

    These include: 

    • Minimum of eight years as an APA General Member or Fellow.
    • Primary identity must be psychiatry for those in combined fields.
    • The General Member or Fellow should be an outstanding psychiatrist who has made and continues to make significant contributions in at least five of the areas listed below. Excellence, not mere competence, is the hallmark of a Distinguished Fellow.
    • Certification by the ABPN, RCPS(C), or AOA or equivalent certifying board;
    • Involvement in the work of the district branch, chapter, and state association activities;
    • Involvement in other components and activities of APA;
    • Involvement in other medical and professional organizations;
    • Participation in non-compensated mental health and medical activities of social significance;
    • Participation in non-medical, non-income-producing community activities;
    • Clinical contributions;
    • Administrative contributions;
    • Teaching contributions;
    • Scientific and scholarly publications;
    • At least three letters of recommendation from Distinguished Fellows or Distinguished Life Fellows.   

    Q: When will I reach Life status?
    A: You reach Life status when your age plus your total years of membership equal 95. At that time, your dues will be reduced to 2/3 the full rate for five years, and then further reduced to 1/3 the full rate for the next five years. After that, you will be dues-exempt.

    Q: I'm about to retire - is there a retired membership category?
    A: No, not at this time. However, if you are fully retired and no longer wish to pay dues, you may apply to become an Inactive Member. Inactive Membership must be approved by your district branch and the APA Board of Trustees. It is a dues-exempt category that would allow you to still attend the Annual Meeting and fall Institute on Psychiatric Services at the member rate, but you would no longer receive the publications (The American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric News) for free. To apply for this status, you will need to complete an
    Inactive Membership request form.

    Q: My finances are rather tight right now and I'm not sure I can afford to pay my dues. Do I have any options?
    A: If you are facing unusual economic pressures, there are several temporary options that may be available to you.

    Dues relief: The Board of Trustees permits dues relief upon recommendation of the Membership Committee. Options include: 

      • Temporary Dues Reduction: Allows members to pay a certain percentage of their dues.
      • Temporary Dues Waiver: Members experiencing temporary conditions involving significant hardship may request a waiver of national dues.
      • Temporary Inactive Status: Allows members to continue their membership, but inactive members will not receive the benefits of membership such as The American Journal of Psychiatry or Psychiatric News unless paid by subscription. This status is granted on a yearly basis.
      • Permanent Inactive Status: Allows members that are unable to continue as an active member of the APA as a result of full retirement, debilitating illness, or similar severe hardship. Permanent Inactive members do not receive the publications of the APA except by subscription, nor do they receive credit toward the Life status for those years of inactive membership.
      • To apply for any of the above options please submit a Dues Relief request form with any supporting documentation you may have.     

       Q: I am interested in the various methods of paying my members dues.  What are my choices?
       A: Dues can be paid in full online using the Pay Member Dues link and logging in with 
your APA  
       member
 ID number.  Members can elect to enroll in the APA Scheduled Payment Plan to
       have membership dues charged to a credit card in monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual installments.
       American Express, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted.  In most cases this can be arranged for both 
       national and district branch dues and can be renewed automatically if you wish.  Dues may also be
       paid by returning your invoice stub with credit card information or a check in the envelope enclosed with
       your invoice.  Invoices are mailed approximately every two months throughout the dues year.  Members
       can also call APA Customer Service toll free at 888.357.7924 or 703.907.7300 to pay by phone.

      Q: I do not want to continue my APA membership but want to remain a member of my district 
      branch (or vice versa).  What are my options?

      A: Dual membership is a requirement of maintaining APA membership.  Joint APA and district branch
       membership makes for stronger representation and promotion of the profession.  The district branch
       offers more personal interaction and deals with issues on the state level.  The district branch and the
       APA work together to bring you information, educate the public and provide development opportunities.

      Q: I wish to resign my membership in both the APA and the district branch.  What do I need to
      do?
     
A:  You must submit a resignation request in writing to the APA membership department
      at membership@psych.org, or at 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington, VA 22209-3901.  Your
      membership with the APA is continuous unless we receive your request to resign in writing.

      Q: What if I do not agree with APA or district branch policies?
      A: The APA and/or district branch represents diverse opinions and views that reflect the diversity of its 
      membership.  All members do not necessarily agree on all policies, but as a member you do have a 
      voice and should use the opportunity to educate others about your views.  

      Q: What are the benefits covered by my dues?
      
A: APA membership dues encompass a wide variety of programs and services on members behalf. 

Members have access to the following resources: 

ADVOCACY FOR YOU AND YOUR PATIENTS
Our lobbyists are working on your behalf on Capitol Hill and in many state capitals to obtain health insurance parity for mental health, protect medical records privacy, defeat non-physician prescribing legislation, push for strong "patients bill of rights" laws, and increase psychiatric reimbursement, and federal research funding.

We counsel state psychiatric societies and their lobbyists on state issues and provide grassroots advocacy training.  APA Advocacy Update and Advocacy Action Center on the APA website keep you up to date on legislative accomplishments. 

LIFELONG LEARNING
APA makes it easy to keep up with the latest research and treatments through two annual meetings and other learning opportunities throughout the year. APA members benefit from deep discounts on registration fees to attend the folliowing meetings: 
 

Institute on Psychiatric Services, October 30-November 2, 2014 - San Francisco, CA
A smaller, interdisciplinary clinical meeting with a focus on community-based psychiatry, the IPS is intended to provide training and support for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals relevant to a clinical setting. Earn up to 27 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.


Annual Meeting, May 16-20, 2015 - Toronto, Canada
The largest psychiatric gathering in the world, the Annual Meeting provides up to 50 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 credits, networking with colleagues from around the globe, and reports of new research findings and in-depth discussion of clinical issues through hundreds of scientific sessions.

 


CME self-study and self-assessment programs, some of them online, let you learn at your own pace while you earn your APA CME Certificate and track your CME activity with APA's CME Recorder.  Members may also fulfill MOC Part 4 requirements by participating in 
Performance in Practice (PIP) Physician Practice Assessment Tools (FREE for members / $399 for non-members.)

APA PERIODICALS KEEP YOU CURRENT

  • The American Journal of Psychiatry, the nation's oldest specialty journal, provides articles on cutting-edge basic and clinical research. APA members receive a FREE subscription. (Note: Dues exempt members receive a discounted subscription).

  •  Psychiatric News updates you on developments throughout the field. APA members receive a FREE subscription.

  • Psychiatric Services brings you reports of interdisciplinary approaches to psychiatric care and evidence-based clinical practices. APA members receive 25% off the non-member subscription rate.

  • FOCUS, The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry, covers topics in psychiatry, offers CME with each quarterly issue, and provides an annual self-assessment exam. APA members receive a special discount on subscription rates

Expand your professional library with books and other resources from American Psychiatric Publishing, a Division of American Psychiatric Association.  You'll enjoy 20% member discounts on more than 700 titles. (25% discount for Resident-Fellow Members).

RESEARCH TOOLS FOR PATIENT CARE

APA Practice Guidelines describe evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of specific illnesses, and identify treatment areas research. The Practice Research Network, with participation from more than 800 members, gathers and analyzes data on clinical care trends to inform clinical decision-making. APA's Psychiatric Research Report keeps you current on major science policy issues affecting the field. 
 

PRACTICAL HELP FOR YOUR PRACTICE
APA's Practice Management Help Line tackles tough issues related to unpaid claims, contracts, denials, pharmacy benefits, and confidentiality. APA staff is available to guide you through the Medicare maze and answer your Coding questions.  

Our bimonthly e-newsletter, Psychiatric Practice and Managed Care, keeps you up to date on critical insurance, coding, reimbursements, and Medicare developments. All available FREE to APA members. Members can also access an online copy of the Practice Management for Psychiatrists: The Basics, a handbook which provides an overview of many of the things members need to be aware of as a psychiatrist.

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN APA MEMBERS-ONLY MALPRACTICE INSURANCE PROGRAM
The APA-endorsed members-only malpractice insurance program, administered by American Professional Agency,
Inc., is designed to meet the needs of psychiatrists and offers a 24 hour risk management hotline and additional
discounts and benefits for APA members.

A VOICE FOR MEMBERS OF MINORITY AND UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS
APA offers resident fellowships, mentoring programs, special committees and Assembly caucuses, career development for women, and award programs geared to the special needs of psychiatrists from minority and underrepresented groups.    

APA JOBCENTRAL - THE CAREER HUB FOR PSYCHIATRY 

APA JobCentral makes it easy to focus your recruitment efforts or career search. Whether you're looking for a talented psychiatrist for your practice or the right psychiatric opportunity, start your search at the best source for psychiatric job placement. 
 
     Employers: Access highly-qualified psychiatrist candidates through easy-to-use job postings and resume
     searching capabilities, as well as applicant tracking and management capabilities.. 
 
     Candidates: Access high quality , relevant job postings, personalized job alerts notifying you of relevant 
      job opportunities, and anonymous resume bank to protect your confidential information.
 
SUPPORT FROM COLLEAGUES AT THE DISTRICT BRANCH
Your local District Branch offers professional development opportunities, networking and CME programs, newsletters and representation before your state legislature. 

SERVICES FOR YOU AND YOUR PRACTICE
As an APA member, you have access to member resources that benefit you and your practice.  Visit the APA Marketplace for discounts on a variety of products and services for you, your family, and your business.  Other discount programs include:

  • Credit card programs and other financial services through Bank of America.
  • Financial and retirement planning through Merrill Lynch.
  • Group discounts on auto and home insurance through Liberty Mutual.
  • Clinical reference applications at the point of care through Epocrates.
  • Group discounts on credit card processing from TransFirst (formerly Solveras Payment Solutions).
  • Secure online drug and patient safety alerts through Health Care Notification Network, a service of PDR Network.
  • Discounted Magazine Subscriptions.
  • Money-saving legal consultation from APA’s Legal Information & Consultation Plan.(sep. fee)

COMMUNICATING WITH THE PUBLIC
Regular contact with national, regional and local news media and timely mental health information for the APA web site, drive home the message that mental health are real and that psychiatric treatment works.