The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

By Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.

At long last, due largely to the efforts of R. Kenneth Riland, D.O., and our own “Syd” Kanev, D.O., F.A.C.N., New York’s Governor Rockefeller signed into law the legislature’s amended Mental Health Act included certificants of the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology & Psychiatry together with certificants of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as physicians qualified for the practice of their designated specialty in the Sovereign State of New York.

A new program of great significance to our College, and to the entire Osteopathic profession, was announced in the Bulletin of September 1967 (Vol. XX, No. 3). In a joint venture between the Missouri Division of Mental Diseases, and the Department of Neurology & Psychiatry of the Kirksville College of Osteopathy & Surgery, Dr. George Ulett, Director of the Division of Mental Diseases established a five-year in-service training program in psychiatry to be located at the State Hospital at Nevada, Missouri. The program furnished five years of combined training and experience in all of the areas as outlined by both the A.M.A. and the A.O.A. specialty boards in psychiatry, and consisted of three years of training and two subsequent years of service. Two months per year were to be spent in residence at the Kirksville College Hospital by each trainee. This program had first been offered to the Division of Neurology & Psychiatry at the Kansas City College, where your author was then Professor and Chairman of the Division. President Peach and I rejected it because it was obviously providing a way for the Missouri Division of Mental Health to get their hospitals staffed by good English-speaking D.O. psychiatrists (in place of the foreign graduates they were then-and are still-forced to use to fill vacancies) with complete A.O.A. sanction, but without adequate opportunity for the trainee to receive Osteopathic psychiatric training and experience. We tried to persuade Kirksville and Dr. Brigham to likewise “hold off” so that we could provide a untied front, and request a program in which the trainee spent a full year all at one time at one or the other osteopathic colleges of Missouri. I knew Dr. Ulett well, personally, and knew of his concern over the necessity of hiring foreign graduates with poor command of English (and no knowledge of American customs or culture) for a discipline in which good communication was the sine-qua-non for good rapport and success in therapy. He needed us worse than we needed him!! But the president of the Kirksville College saw this through the eyes of a political opportunist, and made the alliance as originally offered by Dr. Ulett. Despite its defects as an osteopathic psychiatric graduate training program, it was important in that in opened to osteopathic graduates all the state-supported allopathic medical psychiatric facilities in the state of Missouri.

The Thirty-first Annual Meeting of the College, held October 30-November 1, 1967 in San Francisco, with headquarters at the Sheraton-Palace, produced a revision of our Constitution & By-Laws in final draft for presentation at our 32nd Session in Miami Beach in 1968. By vote of the membership, on motion by Floyd E. Dunn seconded by Philip Katz, the new basic documents were made to serve as rules of procedure for the College pending their formal adoption and subsequent approval by the A.O.A. Board of Trustees. At this Meeting, the College awarded its Distinguished Service Certificate to Cecil Harris, D.O., F.A.C.N, and to Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.; and honored Groven N. Gillum, D.O., F.A.C.N. with a Life Membership. Dr. Gillum was the second “Founding Father” to thus be honored by the A.C.N.

The October 1968 issue of the Bulletin of the A.C.N. (Vol. XXII, No. 4) carried the news item of Floyd E. Dunn’s resignation from his long-held (two decades) post as Chairman of the Division of Neurology & Psychiatry at the Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine and his acceptance of a position as Unit Chief of Psychiatry at the Wadsworth V.A. Center in Leavenworth Kansas. He was the first D.O. to be hired as a ‘psychiatrist’ by the Veterans Administration Hospital system, and the first D.O. to be hired in a hospital that cooperates with the “Dean’s Committee” of an allopathic medical school (in this instance, the University of Kansas Medical School).

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