The construction of person-centered medicine and the launching of an International College

Main Article Content

Juan Mezzich


The International College of Person-centered Medicine (ICPCM), formerly named International Network of Person-centered Medicine (INPCM), emerged from the processes of the Geneva Conferences on Person-centered Medicine which, as a paradigmatic initiative, had its roots in both the wisdom of ancient civilizations and the vision of certain contemporary developments in clinical care and public health. The ICPCM has represented since its inception the joint efforts of global medical and health institutions and of an international community of scholars, both institutions and scholars committed to re-prioritizing medicine and healthcare around the whole  person in context.

Article Details

Author Biography

Juan Mezzich, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University

Born in Lima, Peru, of Yugoslavian and Peruvian ancestries. Medical graduate of Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University and president of the University Student Association.Psychiatric residency training, M.Sc. in Academic Psychiatry, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, all at Ohio State University, and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.Professorial positions in psychiatry, sequentially at Stanford University, California, the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. Currently also Attending Psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital and  Bronx VA Medical Center, New York.Doctor Honoris Causa at Athens University (Greece), Cordoba University (Argentina), Cayetano Heredia University (Peru), and Cluj-Napoca University, Timisoara University and Oradea University (Romania). Honorary Professorship at Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University and University of Belgrade (Serbia), World Psychiatric Association Honorary Fellow, Simon Bolivar Award of the American Psychiatric Association, Past-President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, honorary member/fellow of several national psychiatric associations, and visiting professor and lecturer at academic institutions over 80 countries across all continents.Earlier academic and international work: Secretary & Chair (1983-1996) and Honorary Chair (2008-) of the WPA Section on Classification and Diagnostic Assessment; member of the ICD-10 Work Group and the DSM-IV Task Force; chair of the US National Institute of Mental Health Group on Culture, Diagnosis and Care; consultant on the development of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders (3rd Ed.), the Japanese Modification of ICD-10, the Third Cuban Glossary of Psychiatry, and the Latin American Guide for Psychiatric Diagnosis (GLADP); and director of the 1993-2003 WPA International Guidelines for Diagnostic Assessment (IGDA).Author/coauthor of over 200 scientific journal articles and book chapters (including sections on diagnosis,   epidemiology, and culture in Kaplan & Sadock's and Tasman et al’s Textbooks of Psychiatry), and of 25 books and monographs, including Conceptual Bases of Psychiatry for the Person (in press), Conceptual Explorations on Person-centered Medicine (2010), Psychiatric Diagnosis: Challenges and Prospects (2009), Cultural Formulation: A Reader for Psychiatric Diagnosis (2008), Psychiatry and Sexual Health: An Integrative Approach (2006), Philosophical & Methodological Bases of Psychiatric Diagnosis (2005), Guía Latinoamericana de Diagnóstico Psiquiátrico (GLADP) (APAL, 2004), WPA International Guidelines for Diagnostic Assessment (IGDA) (2003), Cultural Psychiatry: International Perspectives (2001), Culture and Psychiatric Diagnosis: A DSM-IV Perspective (1996), Psychiatric Epidemiology (1994). Editor, Psychopathology, (2002-2010), Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Int’l J Person Centered Medicine, (2010- ), Associate Editor, Int’l J of Integrated Care, (2009- ), and editorial board member of 15 other medical journals in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.WPA Secretary General (1996-2002), Vice-President and President-Elect (2002-2005), President (2005-2008), and Council Member (2008- ). President of the International Network for Person-centered Medicine (2009- ).Current Work: 1) Person-centered Psychiatry and Medicine: Organization of the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Geneva Conferences on Person-centered Medicine, and Conferences in London (2007), Paris (2008), and Uppsala (2008) on Psychiatry for the Person; thematic publication of several monographs and journal editorials & papers, and initiating the International Network for Person-centered Medicine in collaboration with the World Medical Association, the World Health Organization and 25 other international medical and health bodies, 2) International diagnostic systems, particularly ICD-11, Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis, and Latin American Guide for Psychiatric Diagnosis, through monographs, journal papers, and conferences, 3) Culture-informed clinical concepts and procedures, including the Cultural Formulation, the Personal Health Scale, the Multi-ethnic Bicultural Scale, and the Multicultural Quality of Life Index through publications, conferences and research projects.


Kirmayer, L.J. (2004). The cultural diversity of healing: meaning, metaphor and mechanism. British Medical Bulletin 69, 33–48.

World Health Organization. (1946). WHO Constitution. Geneva: WHO.

Heath, I. (2005). Promotion of disease and corrosion of medicine. Canadian Family Physician 51, 1320–1322.

Mezzich, J.E., Snaedal, J., van Weel, C. & Heath, I. (Eds) (2010). Conceptual Explorations on Person-centered Medicine. International Journal of Integrated Care 10, Supplement.

Tournier, P. (1940). Medicine de la Personne. Neuchatel, Switzerland: Delachaux et Niestle.

Rogers, C. (1961). On Becoming a Person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Huygen, F.J.A. (1978). Family medicine – the medical life history of Dutch families. Brunner Mazel, New York, 1982. Original publication: Dekker en van der Vegt, Nijmegen.

McWhinney, I.R. (1989). Family Medicine: A Textbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Alanen, Y. (1997). Schizophrenia: Its Origins and Need-Adaptive Treatment. London: Karnak.

World Health Organization. (2009). Resolution WHA62.12. Primary health care, including health system strengthening. In: Sixty-Second World Health Assembly, Geneva, 18–22 May 2009. Resolutions and Decisions. Geneva, 2009 (WHA62-/2009/REC/1), Page 16.

Coble, Y. (Ed). (2005). Caring Physicians of the World. Ferney-Voltaire, France: World Medical Association.

Snaedal, J. (2007). Presidential Address. World Medical Journal 53, 101-102.

Garrabe, J. & Hoff, P. (2011). Historical views on Psychiatry for the Person. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 1 (1) 125-127.

Mezzich, J.E. (2007). Psychiatry for the Person: Articulating science and humanism. World Psychiatry 6, 1-3.

Mezzich, J.E., Christodoulou, G. & Fulford, K.W.M. (2011). Introduction to the Conceptual Bases of Psychiatry for the Person. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 1 (1) 121-124.

Salloum, I.M. & Mezzich, J.E. (Eds). (2009). Psychiatric Diagnosis: Challenges and Prospects. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Mezzich, J.E., Snaedal, J., van Weel, C. & Heath, I. (2010). Towards person-centered medicine: from disease to patient to person. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 77, 304–306.

Mezzich, J.E. (2009). The Second Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine. World Medical Journal 55, 100-101.

Mezzich, J.E., Snaedal, J., van Weel, C., Botbol, M. & Salloum, I.M. (2011). Introduction to Person-centered medicine: From concepts to practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17, 330-332.

Mezzich, J.E., Snaedal, J., van Weel, C. & Heath, I. (2009). The International Network for Person-centered Medicine: Background and First Steps. World Medical Journal 55, 104-107.

Laín-Entralgo, P. (1982). El Diagnóstico Médico: Historia y Teoría. Barcelona: Salvat.

Mezzich, J.E., Salloum, I.M., Cloninger, C.R., Salvador-Carulla, L., Kirmayer, L., Banzato, C.E., Wallcraft, J. & Botbol, M. (2010). Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis: Conceptual Bases and Structural Model. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 55,701-708.

Miles, A. & Mezzich, J.E. (2011). Advancing the global communication of scholarship and research for personalized healthcare: The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 1 (1) 1-5.