Registration open for 2023 AAPL Annual Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois. | Early Bird Pricing
American Association for Physician Leadership
American Association for Physician Leadership

Mental Health of Puerto Ricans Living On and Off the Island After Hurricane Maria

by Gerardo Fernandez | Neil Baum, MD

August 8, 2022


This article discusses the lasting effects of a natural disaster on those who are immediately affected, as well as the far-reaching effects on the mental health of those who are far from the devastation.


Since the beginning of human civilization, and even more so today with the increased frequency of mass shootings, mental health is a primary concern in our society. Mental illness affects those who are entangled both directly and collaterally, because it has dire impacts on our society. Lack of awareness, innuendos, and misconceptions have permeated our actions toward this pervasive illness. At the beginning of the 16th century, many hospitals and asylums were established to treat those who suffered from mental illness and terminal conditions. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the medical profession began to unravel the causes of mental illness and offer treatment options. We have learned recently that mental illness can be precipitated by natural disasters, such as the devastation that Hurricane Maria delivered to Puerto Rico in September 2017. Experiences of this storm may have had a profound negative effect on the mental health of hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Puerto Ricans.

Read Full Article in the AAPL Platform

Gerardo Fernandez

Pre-med student and graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Neil Baum, MD

Neil Baum, MD, is a professor of clinical urology at Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana.

For over 45 years.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has helped physicians develop their leadership skills through education, career development, thought leadership and community building.

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) changed its name from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) in 2014. We may have changed our name, but we are the same organization that has been serving physician leaders since 1975.


Mail Processing Address
PO Box 96503 I BMB 97493
Washington, DC 20090-6503

Payment Remittance Address
PO Box 745725
Atlanta, GA 30374-5725
(800) 562-8088
(813) 287-8993 Fax



AAPL providers leadership development programs designed to retain valuable team members and improve patient outcomes.

American Association for Physician Leadership®

formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)