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Lauded Educator and Psychiatrist Dr. Iverson Bell Jr. Honored with Award in His Name

The American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training is honoring educator and psychiatrist Dr. Iverson Bell Jr., former professor of psychiatry and residency training director at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, for his longstanding work with an award in his name.Dr. Iverson Bell Jr.Dr. Iverson Bell Jr.University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The Dr. Iverson Bell, Jr. Faculty Fellowship Award will recognize the growth and promise of outstanding underrepresented in medicine (URiM) psychiatrists while also encouraging mentoring for junior and mid-career psychiatric faculty.

Bell is known for his clinical work, his training of future physicians, and his commitment to increase the number of Black psychiatrists. He said that, in his career, he has taught approximately 200-300 psychiatry residents.

“There are 56,000 psychiatrists in the United States and probably right around 1,200 Black psychiatrists,” Bell said. “So, there is a tiny number of us, and I’ve been kind of working since the 1990s to increase that number.”

He retired last summer but still trains residents and sees patients part-time. Recently, he received the Elam Black Psychiatrists of America Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Psychiatrists of America.

Bell is also an advocate for underrepresented minority psychiatrists training and teaching others.

“He was also a visionary pioneer in telepsychiatry care delivery and resident education in telepsychiatry long before telepsychiatry became commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Ronald Cowan, chair of psychiatry at UTHSC,. “These honors are a fitting and well-deserved tribute to the many contributions that Dr. Bell has made to psychiatry and psychiatric education.”

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