Richard L. Frierson, M.D., has been named the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) 2016 Seymour Pollack Distinguished Achievement Award recipient for 2016. The national award recognizes distinguished contributions to the teaching and educational functions of forensic psychiatry. Frierson received the honor recently at the 47th AAPL annual meeting held in Portland, Oregon.
Frierson is program director for the Palmetto Health/USC School of Medicine Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship and professor of psychiatry and vice chair for education in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He also is medical director for the University of South Carolina Professionals Wellness Program. Frierson received a bachelor of music degree and medical doctorate from the University of South Carolina and completed psychiatric residency and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute.
A past president of the South Carolina Psychiatric Association and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Frierson is co-chair of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Education Committee. He is president of the Association of Directors of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships (ADFPF). His previous honors include a 2006 AAPL national award for Best Teacher in a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, the 2009 Stephen L. Von Riesen Lecturer of Merit Award from the National College of District Attorneys, and the 2014 Red Apple Award from the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has been named a Best Doctor since 2007.
Frierson has written more than 40 publications in national peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on topics such as psychiatric and neurological characteristics of murder defendants, competency to stand trial, gender-based prosecutions, juror understanding of mental illness verdicts and attitudes towards mentally ill defendants.
About the Seymour Pollack Award
This professional honor is named for Dr. Seymour Pollack (1916–1982), a founding member and the third president of the the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He served as director of the Institute of Psychiatry, Law and the Behavioral Science of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. During his distinguished career as an educator and psychiatric consultant, Dr. Pollack contributed to many notable court cases, including the 1969 prosecution of Sirhan B. Sirhan, who was convicted of assassinating presidential candidate U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.