Psychiatrists as Administrators: The Perspective of a
Mental Health Department Psychiatrist
Andrew Kolodny, M.D.
Published online: 10 April 2007
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract This paper is adapted from the American Association of Psychiatric Admin-
istrators Annual Membership Luncheon Speech given at the meeting of the American
Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada on May 23, 2006. The author discusses three
experiences from his work for the New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene to illustrate how psychiatrists working as administrators are uniquely able to meet
community mental health and substance misuse needs. The author describes public health
interventions employed by psychiatric administrators to reduce morbidity and mortality
from opioid and methamphetamine misuse.
Keywords Administrative psychiatry Á Opioids Á Addiction Á Overdose prevention Á
Buprenorphine Á Methamphetamine Á Crystal methamphetamine
The role of psychiatrists as administrators is frequently misunderstood and undervalued.
Clinical colleagues frequently assume that administrators spend their days drowning in
spreadsheets, audit standards and quality improvement indicators. This view-from-the-
outside does not do justice to the impact administrators have on quality of care, health care
policy and the profession. The perception that administrative jobs are more stressful and
less rewarding than full-time clinical work is more ﬁction than fact. As Ranz and Stueve
have demonstrated, greater administrative responsibilities actually correlate with higher
job satisfaction .
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators, Toronto,
Canada, May 23, 2006.
A. Kolodny, M.D. (&)
Department of Psychiatry, Maimonides Medical Center, 920 48th Street, Suite 1229, Brooklyn, NY
Psychiatr Q (2007) 78:193–198