Recognizing the Black Psychiatrists of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


“The contributions of Black psychiatrists are essential for us achieving the work, achieving our goals, and really leaning into what we find to be our ‘why’ for why we do this work.”


In honor of Black History Month, we asked clinicians to share their thoughts on Black history and the contributions of Black Americans to the psychiatric field and beyond. Here’s how they answered.

“Many Black psychiatrists have made significant contributions to the field of psychiatry and have had a positive impact on the lives of countless patients as well as colleagues. However, their work and achievements may not receive the recognition they deserve due to a number of systemic and cultural barriers they face in society broadly and also in the profession. My goal for this video is to change that.”

In this special Mental Health Minute for the Psychiatric Times™ Black History Month series, Jessica Isom, MD, MPH, discusses the importance of recognizing the contributions of Black psychiatrists to the field for improving patient outcomes, promoting diversity and inclusion, and more.

Dr Isom is a board-certified community psychiatrist and clinical instructor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry who serves as co-director of the Social Justice and Health Equity Curriculum. She primarily works in Boston as an attending psychiatrist at Codman Square Health Center. She received her MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also received her MPH with a focus on public health leadership.

What does Black History Month mean to you? If you would like to share your thoughts, write to us at for a chance to be featured in our Black History Month series.

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