From Drapetomania to Schizophrenia: Systemic Racism, Psychiatry, and Potential Solutions
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Expires on Aug 25, 2024
Credit Offered
1 CME Credit
1 COP Credit

All racism is not overt. Social determinants of health and health disparities are rooted in systemic racism and have a historical context. These inequities and multi-level racism have and continue to impact the mental health of Black Americans and other black, indigenous, and other people of color dermographias. Mental health in this country for African Americans, is influenced by historic, economic, educational, and social barriers. This webinar is grounded in principles of race equity and social justice, and will address the role of power and privilege in perpetuating mental health inequities. This course aims to identify the focus of institutional-level interventions that would be expected to improve racial inequities in psychiatric care. The need for changing traditional structures and culture to those that promote race equity will be a focus of this discussion. 


Recorded webinar, non-interactive, self-paced distance learning activity with post-test.

This presentation was recorded on August 10, 2021.

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate the historical context of Drapetomania and the role of psychiatry in structural racism. 
  • Assess the generational impact of racism on Black lives. 
  • Identify examples of systemic racism and implicit biases roles in healthcare inequalities. 
  • Implement strategies to reduce bias and racism in psychiatry, including in patient interactions. 

Target Audience

Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Physician (non-psychiatrist), Physician Assistant , Other mental health professionals 

Instructional Level


Estimate Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour
Program Start Date: August 25, 2021 
Program End Date: August 25, 2024

How to Earn Credit

After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the event date and hours earned.  

Continuing Education Credit


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The APA is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychiatric Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Danielle Hairston, MD, is an American psychiatrist who is Director of Residency Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of MedicineHairston is also the Scientific Program Chair for the Black Psychiatrists of America and the President of the American Psychiatric Association's Black Caucus. Dr. Hairson reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 


  • Nitin Gogtay, M.D., APA Chief of Research, Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be:  Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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