The chance that any of my followers know anything about this is around zero, but just in case…
The American Psychiatric Association offers two forms of fellowship – Fellowship and Distinguished Fellowship.
Distinguished Fellowship clearly requires you to be good at something or famous or important in some way.
Fellowship is – well, here’s the application. Notice how it doesn’t ask for a resume or any achievements or anything like that. It just asks if you’re a board-certified psychiatrist and whether you’ve committed any crimes.
I keep seeing otherwise sketchy-seeming psychiatrists who advertise that they’re a “fellow of the APA”, implying that shows they’re prestigious and respected within the profession. I’m suspicious that “fellow of the APA” means “sent in an application and not a criminal”, but I’m not sure, and there’s no clear information.
I’m extra suspicious that the entire reason for the category of “fellow” existing is to allow exactly this confusion – to have a system by which supporting the APA just a little bit more will let you put a title after your name which anybody skimming your bio will think is important, or will confuse with “distinguished fellow”.
But I don’t want to make this accusation more openly unless somebody who knows more about APA politics can confirm.
“Sent in an application and not a criminal” sounds like a mischaracterization of what you’re describing. It implies that the fellowship is evidence of nothing more than non-criminality.
“Sent in an application and *not caught at the time*” sounds more accurate. It’s a evidence that if the bearer is a criminal, they’re probably a relatively smart one.
So I have just sent in my application, in order to test whether “is actually a psychiatrist” is a requirement.
Anything ever come of this?