Dr. Rahn Bailey Named 113th President Of National Medical Association

Dr. Rahn Bailey NMA President

Rahn Kennedy Bailey, MD. FAPA, was installed as the 113th president of the National Medical Association (NMA) during the NMA 2012 Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly in New Orleans, LA. The official ceremony held in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Riverside Hotel.

The new NMA president introduced his agenda for the upcoming year which included addressing mental health issues in the African- American community.

Dr. Bailey is also the chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. Dr. Bailey earned his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (1990) and his B.S. Degree in Biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated Cum Laude with Departmental Honors. He has been a longstanding member of the NMA, serving in many roles including speaker of the NMA House of Delegates, the governing body of the association.

Dr. Bailey completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Texas at Houston and Texas Medical Center Affiliated Hospital and where he served as Chief Resident (1993-1994).

Additionally, he was the chairman for the Katrina Response Effort of the NMA. In this capacity, he led teams of physicians in treating the mental health needs of those displaced by the hurricane. Dr. Bailey is a national forensic expert, who has testified in civil, racial discrimination, and criminal cases.

“Healthcare policy is changing rapidly and, for more than 100 years, the National Medical Association has been at the forefront of the effort to provide quality healthcare for medically underserved populations,” says Bailey. “I look forward sharing the policies and positions of the NMA and we will continue to make a difference in meeting the health care needs of all Americans.”

Dr. Bailey’s legacy of service within the NMA includes his tenure as Speaker of the House of Delegates of the NMA. He is a recipient of the Isaac Slaughter Memorial Leadership Award.

In 2006 Dr. Bailey was named Region V Physician of the Year by the NMA for his exemplary efforts in coordinating medical care for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He received the NMA Postgraduate Physician Award (1998). He is active in the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is the deputy representative to the APA Assembly from the Black Caucus of the APA. He is currently president of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association (May 2012-May 2014).

The Newtown Tragedy: What Our Grief Teaches Us

primary schoolgirl resting
The NMA, on behalf of its physicians, their families and colleagues expresses heartfelt sympathy to the victims and their families in Newtown, Connecticut.

“On behalf of the National Medical Association, I want to express that we are all joined in our grief, as our hearts are aching over the loss of such beautiful and innocent lives. We want the families, friends and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary to know that the NMA’s thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as the entire Newtown community” states Rahn Kennedy Bailey, M.D., FAPA, NMA President.

Dr. Bailey is one of the nation’s leading psychiatrists and has special expertise and insight into this tragedy; Dr. Bailey completed a Forensic Medicine/Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

“There have been far too many senseless acts of domestic terrorism occurring in this country. After seeing the multiple images of sobbing schoolchildren, as well as distraught teachers and parents on the various news outlets this weekend, there is only one thing left to say; this has got to stop,” said Dr. Bailey.

As a psychiatrist, Dr. Bailey reminds us of the need for acute psychiatric intervention for the victim’s family, the children who survived and indeed for others affected.

Unfortunately, these types of horrific events bring to the forefront the number of people who may be living with mental illnesses that have yet to be diagnosed and/or treated. This is particularly true for young males. Over the past several years, it appears that a pattern of violence has started to develop among young males 29 and under.

It is of no surprise that many of these perpetrators are young men, from Jarred Loughner, 22 (Arizona shootings) to 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech shootings) to Jovan Belcher, 25 (Kansas City Chief player who shot and killed his girlfriend and then killed himself) and 27-year-old Javon Foster who committed suicide after killing his girlfriend and injuring their toddler as recently as last week in Washington, DC.

“There is an ever present need to increase our awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. This is necessary for the individual, but also for our communities as we have unfortunately witnessed; undiagnosed and untreated mental illness may lead to tragedy for us all,” said Dr. Bailey.

Dr. Bailey further noted that although signs of mental illness appear in adolescence and early adulthood; mental illnesses are usually diagnosed in young men in their late teens to mid-twenties, as opposed to women which are more often diagnosed in their late 20’s.

These signs or symptoms are not limited to a particular race or group in our society and we must recognize that mental illness is a medical condition. “The stigma associated with mental illness delays adequate diagnosis and care and can have devastating effects on the country,” according to Dr. Bailey.

Many medical researchers believe it is due to a combination of biological and social pressure that has come into play in that particular individual’s life.

“The late teens and 20’s are often a period of time in a young person’s life where an insurmountable amount of stress and/or peer pressure is being experienced. This is extremely true in young men, especially now, with the social media and internet aspect augmented by the fact that they are transitioning from boyhood to manhood. This stress and peer pressure is certainly more evident, particularly if they (the young men) have not established themselves financially, career wise, with their family and personal relationships.” continued, Dr. Bailey.

“As a result of these young men not being diagnosed and left untreated; they often experience feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation and/or anger at being excluded, all of which can lead to low self-esteem, shyness, substance abuse, homelessness, extreme violence, a life of crime and/or incarceration, just to name few.”