Renato D. Alarcon, M.D., MPH

Current secretary

Dr. Alarcón is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He was until recently, Medical Director of the Mayo Psychiatry and Psychology Treatment Center and its Mood Disorder Unit. He also holds the Honorio Delgado Chair at the Universidad Cayetano Heredia (UPCH), in Lima, Perú. Born in Arequipa (Perú), he graduated from UPCH, did his Residency and Fellowships in Psychosomatic Medicine and Clinical Psychopharmacology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, graduating also as Master of Public Health. Back in Perú, he was Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs at UPCH before returning to the U.S. as Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and Chief of the Inpatient Service at University Hospital. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia as Chief of Psychiatry at the VA Medical Center, and Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine. He has organized exchange programs with Latin American universities, mentoring medical students, residents and young researchers. Author or co-author of over 200 articles, 15 books, and 70 book chapters, Senior Editor of the standard psychiatric textbook in Latin America, and of the Ibero-American Encyclopedia of Psychiatry, Co-Editor of Archivos de Psiquiatríal in Spain, Associate Editor of Transcultural Psychiatry, Debates Section Editor of Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, and Board Member of World Psychiatry. Recipient of APA’s Simon Bolivar (1999) and George Tarjan (2011) Awards, APA’s Distinguished Life Fellow, Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, and former Chair of the Cultural Psychiatry Committee, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Former President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, advisor in APA’s Young Psychiatrists programs, and the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training Programs. At Mayo, he has conducted the Cultural Psychiatry didactics for students and residents, and has fostered several international exchange programs as Chair of the International Visitors Program. Member of the Carter Center Mental Health Task Force in Atlanta, Honorary and Visiting Professor in several Latin American and European Universities, and member of APA’s DSM-5 Task Force (Work Group on Personality Disorders, and Study Group on Cultural and Gender Issues). 

  •  I. Herrera y Cairo No. 611. Col. centro
         Guadalajara, Jal., Mex. C.P.44100
  •  (+5233) 36139877
  • paceves@gladet.org.mx


Culture impacts mental illness so that culturally relevant care is needed for patients of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. From a social point of view, there has been rapid social and cultural change, as well as migration within and between nations. Societies are becoming multi-ethnic and poly-cultural in nature worldwide. From a clinical perspective, there is a need to improve cultural competence to provide proper psychiatric care of each patient, considering the ethnic/race/cultural background, irregardless of minority or majority status.

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