March 29, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Geriatric Psychiatry Physician Leadership Psychiatry
||C. Freeman, M.D.
President-elect of the Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA), C. Freeman, M.D., will be the first African American—and thus the first African American female—to serve as LACMA president when she takes office later this year.
A geriatric psychiatrist affiliated with California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Freeman is now the program director for the newly accredited Psychiatry Residency Training Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine, dual training in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
When asked about why she became a physician, Dr. Freeman stated:
“I went into medicine to become a geriatric psychiatrist, which allows me to advocate for patients in a way that no other profession has been able to do.”
Advocate is a word that easily comes to mind when talking with Dr. Freeman. She is well known for her tireless advocacy for her patients, and on issues of access and barriers to quality care. Dr. Freeman strongly believes in the benefits of organized medicine and the need for improvement in health care delivery in the US.
“Organized medicine offers the resources and the ability to maintain and revitalize one’s interest in practicing medicine in a meaningful way versus the demeaning and devaluing way that is imposed by onerous guidelines, ever-changing regulations, and meaningless use activities that are made as requirements,” said Dr. Freeman. “By interacting with peers, one can recognize that one is not necessarily practicing in a silo and there are opportunities to learn from best practices. In addition to interacting with peers and organizational partners, one interacts with policymakers and one learns other effective ways of not only influencing policy but also helping to establish policies and laws that directly impact patient care in ways that can most effectively be done as a physician.”
Dr. Freeman currently serves on the LACMA Board as President-Elect and will be installed as president on June 21, 2018. Her list of professional affiliations is long and impressive. She lists membership in organizations such as the National Medical Association, National Black MBA Association, Charles R. Drew Medical Society, Black Psychiatrists of America and American Psychiatric Association.
When asked about her goals as president of LACMA, she said:
“As the first African American LACMA President, I am both proud of the organization’s evolution to effect such a pivotal change in its traditional leadership and honored to lead our group in what is shaping up to be a year of new levels of inclusion and active advocacy, which increases the value for more physicians and has the highly desirable side effect of stimulating growth in membership, involvement, affiliations, and impact.”