Sunday, May 19, 2013

APA Leaders Pay Tribute To Jay Scully, M.D., as He Nears Retirement

It was a little more than 10 years ago when James H. Scully Jr., M.D., became medical director of APA. Today, as he prepares to step down from that position in the fall, former APA President and Assembly Speaker Richard Harding, M.D., led a light-hearted but poignant tribute to Scully at the Assembly’s morning plenary.
 “As president at the time, I had the honor of appointing a search committee headed by former APA President Herb Pardes, M.D. While the committee came up with a host of good candidates, one stood out: Jay Scully.”

Harding recounted Scully’s years as a naval medical officer and his leadership in psychiatric education, commenting that those experiences prepared him well for the demanding position he has held as head of the APA staff. “He had a hard job set ahead of him,” said Harding. “A decade ago, things were not real rosy at APA—I can assure you of that. The planning for DSM-5 was just beginning, a war was going on, the antipsychiatry movement was strong, and we were broke—APA had nothing in reserves. Jay set a course for APA and turned all that around—we’re in a far different place today.”

Former speaker of the Assembly and current Area 7 Trustee, Jeffrey Akaka, M.D., of Hawaii, draped a Kukuki nut lei around Scully’s neck and slipped him some of his signature chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, and another former speaker of the Assembly, Albert Gaw, M.D., presented him with an oversized, engraved gavel. Gaw was speaker when Scully became medical director.

“We saw Jay in many moods through the years,” said Harding, “and if we saw him frustrated, we always knew it was because of his principles or because something critical needed to be done for the APA membership or our patients. Few people have earned the respect in psychiatry that Jay has throughout a career dedicated to others.”


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