Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

HPMA meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Please see the event calendar for more details.

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Contact HPMA


HPMA is a professional organization and does not have any employees of its own. Our work is made possible by our volunteers and through administrative support provided by Hawaii Medical Association

To contact HPMA, you may write, call or send us an e-mail.  

Hawai’i Psychiatric Medical Association

P.O. Box 2785
Honolulu, HI 96803



Email: [email protected]


HPMA Membership

In order to be a member of HPMA you must join the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Join APA

APA Membership Categories:

Medical Student Member (MS) - Individuals who are enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian school of medicine, including osteopathic medicine, and remain enrolled therein. Medical Student Members are dues exempt and are required to belong at the national level only (exempt from dual membership requirement).

Members-in-Training (MT) - Physicians who have been accepted into a psychiatric residency training program that is approved by the ACGME, RCPS(C), or AOA and remain enrolled therein. Residents enrolled in a one- year primary care training program to be followed by an approved psychiatric residency are eligible for Member-in-Training status. Your First Year of APA Dues as a Member-in-Training is waived! After that, your annual national dues are only $80/U.S. and $50/Canada.

General Members (GM) - Physicians who have completed an acceptable program of training in psychiatry, and hold either a valid license to practice medicine or hold an academic, research, or governmental position that does not require licensure. General Members may apply for Fellowship or be nominated for Distinguished Fellowship provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

International Member (IM) - Physicians who live outside the United States and Canada and who meet the criteria established for General Members. Applicants for this category must be licensed physicians who have completed an acceptable program of training in psychiatry; they must also have the support of one APA member (not including Medical Students and Members-in-Training).

International Fellow (IF) - Physicians who live outside the United States and Canada and who meet the criteria for Fellowship (i.e., having made significant and continued contributions to the field of psychiatry) and who have the support of one Fellow and/or International Fellow of APA.



2020-2021 Executive Council

Rika Suzuki, MD - President

Vacant - Vice President

Julienne Aulwes, MD - Secretary

Julienne Aulwes, MD - Treasurer

Vacant - President-Elect

Denis Mee-Lee, MD Immediate Past-President (2019-2020)

Iqbal "Ike" Ahmed, MD - Assembly Rep

Leslie Gise, MD - Assembly Rep

Sara Haack, MD - Early Career Psychiatrist Rep

Megan Araujo, MD - Member in Training Representative

Vacant - Member in Training Deputy Representative

Leslie Gise, MD - Membership Committee Chair

Celia Ona, MD - Ethics Committee Chair

Executive Council - Legislative Chair

Rika Suzuki, MD - Public Affairs Chair

Vacant - Women's Committee Co-Chair

Keiko Chen, MD - Women's Committee Co-Chair

Julienne Ong Aulwes, MD – Chair of the HPMA Task Force on Access to Care

2019-2020 Executive Council

Denis Mee-Lee, MD - President

Vacant - Vice President

Michele Wang, MD - Secretary

Julienne Aulwes, MD - Treasurer

Rika Suzuki, MD - President-Elect

Celia Ona, MD Immediate Past-President (2018-2019)

Iqbal "Ike" Ahmed, MD - Assembly Rep

Leslie Gise, MD - Assembly Rep

Sara Haack, MD - Early Career Psychiatrist Rep

Jing Foongsathaporn, MD - Member in Training Representative

Jing Foongsathaporn, MD - Member in Training Deputy Representative

Leslie Gise, MD - Membership Committee Chair

Celia Ona, MD - Ethics Committee Chair

Executive CouncilLegislative Chair

Rika Suzuki, MD - Public Affairs Chair

Asif Majid, MD - Public Affairs Chair

Michele Wang, MD - Women's Committee Co-Chair

Keiko Chen, MD - Women's Committee Co-Chair

Julienne Ong Aulwes, MD – Chair of the HPMA Task Force on Access to Care

2018-19 Executive Council

Celia Ona, MD - President

Vacant - Vice President

Michele Wang, MD - Secretary

Julienne Aulwes, MD - Treasurer

Denis Mee-Lee, MD - President-Elect

Michael Champion, MD Immediate Past-President (2016-2018)

Iqbal "Ike" Ahmed, MD - Assembly Rep

Leslie Gise, MD - Assembly Rep

Sara Haack, MD - Early Career Psychiatrist Rep

Evan Taniguchi, MD - Member in Training Representative

Chayaninin Foongsathaporn, MD - Member in Training Deputy Representative

Vlad Karpa, MD - Membership Committee Co-Chair

Leslie Gise, MD - Membership Committee Co-Chair

Gregory A. Prier, DO - Ethics Committee Chair

Jeffrey Akaka, MD - Legislative Chair

Rika Suzuki, MD - Public Affairs Chair

Asif Majid, MD - Public Affairs Chair

Michele Wang, MD - Women's Committee Co-Chair

Keiko Chen, MDWomen's Committee Co-Chair

Julienne Ong Aulwes, MD – Chair of the HPMA Task Force on Access to Care




Autism and Adult Psychiatry

October 31, 2012
William M. Bolman, MD

I.  Why do I need to know about Autism?
    1)  Because of the continuing increase in prevalence.  In the last 25 years the prevalence has climbed from 2 per 1,000 to 1 in 54 boys and continues to rise.
    2)  For the past 15 years I have had an autism practice and most of these young people are headed towards adulthood and their parents will be calling you mostly for medication support.
    3)  Many persons with autism also have co-morbid psychiatric conditions that are often responsive to medication.  The most common are anxiety, depression, mood dyscontrol.  A few have psychotic symptoms.  Mostly their medication needs will be stable and continued from late adolescence.

II.  If I see patients with autism, what do I need to know?
    1)  Psychopharmacology.
    2)  How to work with families in general problem-solving.  
    Really, I’m not kidding, most of the technical stuff will have been taken care of during childhood.  At this time the issue is simply maintenance and some general support.  Any continuing problems and you will contact the Autism Society of Hawaii (I’m the president, and if I can’t help I have a very smart Professional Advisory Board.  You can reach me at [email protected]  If you have autistic patients/families and think you need a consult, let me know.  I still see patients for evaluations but not for ongoing psychopharm treatment.

III.  Other than that, I hope most of you know that neuroscience is experiencing an absolutely thrilling period of growth due to technological improvements in neuroimaging and the fields of epigenetics, and systems neurobiology that is beginning to impact psychiatry.  Regarding neuroscience, it is now possible to label a single neuron or group of similar neurons with an optical tracer (a protein that illuminates when exposed to light).  That means one can start tracing brain circuitry.  We have learned that for neurodevelopmental conditions like autism the pathology is not necessarily in the neuron.  Rather it’s in the neuronal support system – astrocytes, oligodendrocyes, and the extracellular matrix including cytokines from the immune system.  In particular, the development and function of the synapse and interneurons is affected.  In epigenetics it is now known that what we were previously told was ‘junk DNA’ actually controls the standard genes in neuronal development and response to the environment.  We know that the reason the autism spectrum conditions affect each individual in different ways and with different severity (the phenotype) is because there is a very large set of genes that interact in multiple ways (genetic pleiotropy – check it out on Wikipedia).  However there are some common molecular pathways such as redox homeostasis (oxidation-reduction cell balance) that may be affected by medications and gene transfer.
    There are a few really interesting insights from all this research.
    1)  Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and probably intellectual disability (the polite term for MR) share many of the same genes.  
    2)  Some of these conditions, especially autism, improve considerably with early environmental support (“Applied Behavior Analysis”).  It has also been shown in several instances that gene replacement (mostly in mouse models of neurodevelopmental conditions) in adulthood can totally reverse the neuropathology!!!   The implication is that many of these conditions do not represent irreversible brain damage – they represent homeostatic imbalance as cells and neural systems try to adapt to the molecular imbalances.
    3)  Autism (and related conditions) are not merely neurologic conditions.  The immune systems of innate and adaptive immunity are hugely involved due to their joint embryological origin from primal ectoderm.  

SO, stay tuned!   Go into the National Library of Medicine’s website (PubMed), become a member (free), type in “Molecular Neurobiology AND Autism” and enjoy some stuff that did not exist when we were in medical school!

The reason I’m so turned on by all this stuff is because I’m so old that as a young pediatrician I used to treat polio and leukemia, both conditions solved by genetic, immunologic and neuroscientific research, and we are on the same path.


Cutaneous Drug Reactions and Psychiatric Medications

September 19, 2012
Miki Shirakawa Garcia MD | Dermatology | Queens Hospital POB II

One of the most common manifestations of a drug reaction is a cutaneous eruption. If a drug reaction is suspected, the type of rash should be characterized and the onset in relation to the patient’s medications should be evaluated. There are some medications that are more commonly associated with specific types of eruptions.  If the possible offending medication is not a commonly associated medication, a literature search in Medline or in a drug database (Drug Alert Registry or Medwatch) can be helpful. Patients have a higher risk for a drug reaction if they are female, elderly, African American, immunosuppressed, take multiple medications, or have serious illnesses. The goal of this article is to provide a brief summary of cutaneous drug eruptions that are pertinent to medications commonly used in psychiatric patients.

Exanthematous or morbiliform drug eruptions present with symmetric erythematous macules on the trunk and upper extremities that progressively becomes confluent and palpable, sometimes urticarial or scarlatiniform (Figure 1). There is no mucous membrane involvement.  The rash may be accompanied by a low-grade fever and/or pruritus.  Exanthematous eruptions are most commonly seen four to fourteen days after starting the medication and most commonly secondary to antibiotics (aminopenicillins, sulfonamides, cephalosporins), anticonvulsants and allopurinol. After discontinuation of the offending medication, the rash will resolve on its own within one to two weeks.  Topical corticosteroids can be used to treat the pruritus.

Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) can be life-threatening due to possible internal organ failure.  Onset is usually two to six weeks after starting the medication and most commonly seen with anticonvulsants, antibiotics (sulfonamides, minocycline) and allopurinol. Clinically, DRESS manifests with a fever and a morbiliform eruption that starts on the face, trunk and upper extremities. Edema of the face is common. Patients will have prominent eosinophilia and liver enzymes should be monitored for possible fulminant hepatitis.  The cutaneous and systemic symptoms may last weeks to months after drug withdrawal. Treatment of DRESS requires corticosteroids, which should be systemic if there is internal organ involvement.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are rare but potentially fatal drug reactions. SJS or TEN can start an average of one to three weeks after starting the medication. SJS and TEN are characterized by fever and painful mucocutaneous lesions that can be a dusky erythema or flat atypical targets.  The lesions usually start on the trunk and spread to the head/neck and proximal upper extremities.  This is followed by desquamation within hours to several days after onset. SJS involves less than 10% of body surface area and TEN involves greater than 30% of body surface area. Mortality rate is 1-5% for SJS and 25-35% for TEN. Most commonly implicated medications are sulfonamides, anticonvulsants, NSAIDs, and allopurinol. Specific to psychiatry, the most common offending medications are amithiozone, barbiturates, carbamazepine, chlormezanone, phenytoin, lamotrigine, and phenylbutazone. It is important that treatment is instituted in a closely monitored unit such as a burn unit with supportive care, wound care, and possible IVIG.

Some medications can cause a phototoxic or photoallergic reaction. Phenothiazines, in addition to tetracyclines, NSAIDs, and fluoroquinolones, can cause a phototoxic skin eruption. Phototoxic eruptions are characterized by an exaggerated sunburn appearance in the photodistributed areas, followed by hyperpigmentation. Photo-onycholysis and pseudoporphyria can also be seen in phototoxic reactions. Common medications to cause a photoallergy include phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, thiazide diuretics, sulfonamide antibiotics, sulfonylureas, quinine or quinidine, NSAIDs and antimalarials.  Photoallergic reactions are usually more chronic and appear as a pruritic dermatitis or lichen planus-like eruption in sun-distributed locations.

Other uncommon drug reactions associated with medications used in psychiatry include fixed drug eruptions, linear IgA bullous dermatosis, pseudolymphoma and drug-induced psoriasis.  Fixed drug eruptions recur in the same location and can be secondary to sulfonamides, NSAIDs, barbiturates, tetracyclines and carbamazepine. Linear IgA bullous dermatosis is associated with vancomycin, β-lactam antibiotics, captopril, NSAIDs, phenytoin, rifampin, sulfonamides, amiodarone, furosemide, lithium and G-CSF. Pseudolymphoma can occur with anticonvulsants (phenobarbital, carbamazepine), antipsychotics (chlorpromazine, promethazine), imatinib mesylate, and angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Drug-induced psoriasis can occur with terbinafine, NSAIDs, antimalarials, ACE inhibitors, lithium and β-blockers.

The treatment for all cutaneous drug reactions is to discontinue the offending medication. Supportive treatment is indicated depending on the type of rash. Dermatology can be consulted if the morphology of the rash is difficult to determine or if there are other possible diagnoses to exclude which would require a skin biopsy.


1. Revuz J, Valeyrie-Allanore L. (2008)Chapter 22: Drug Reactions. In Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP (Eds.), Dermatology, (edition 2, pgs 301-320 ). Spain: Elsevier.

2. French LE, Prins C. (2008) Chapter 21: Erythema Multiforme, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. In Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP (Eds.), Dermatology, (edition 2, pgs 287-300). Spain: Elsevier.

3. Warnock JK and Morris DW. Adverse cutaneous reactions to antidepressants. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2002; 3(5): 329-39.

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