The KCNP was founded on February 15, 1985 by Prof. Chae Won Kim (presently emeritus professor of Yonsei Medical School) to support research in the fields of psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry, to promote friendship among members, and to encourage international exchanges. At the inaugural assembly held at Allen Hall in Yonsei University, 28 psychiatrists attended as promoters. Prof. Chae Won Kim was elected as the first chairman, Prof. Jin Soo Kim (Yonsei Medical School) and Prof. Jae Chang Ha (Keimyung Medical School) as vice-chairmen, Prof. Sung Kil Min (Yonsei Medical School) as general secretary, and Prof. Byung Jo Kang (Kyungbuk Medical School) as head of the academic department. On May 10, 1985 a founding anniversary meeting was held in the Korean Social Science Library, which was attended by the internationally renowned scholar Prof. John Davis (University of Illinois, US). Prof. Jin Soo Kim, who was reappointed as the second and third chairman, concentrated on constructing the infrastructure of the College, and Prof. Jin Soo Kim, Prof. Byung Jo Kang, Prof. Suk Chul Shin (Chungnam Medical School), and Prof. Sung Kil Min were elected the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chairmen, respectively.

In the eighth session the administrative system was changed to a board of directors, with Prof. In Ho Paik (Catholic University) elected as chairman and Prof. Sung Kil Min as president. In the ninth session Prof. Sung Kil Min was elected as chairman and Prof. Hong Shick Lee (Yonsei University) as president, and in the tenth session Prof. Doh Joon Yoon (Kyunghee University) was elected as president and Prof. Hong Shick Lee as chairman. Prof. Young Hoon Kim (Inje University) has been the fourth president of the College since April 2005. Although the KCNP has a history of less than 20 years as an academic research group, it already has a reputation as a leading college in the relevant fields, with 385 regular members.

The KCNP holds spring and fall academic meetings every year and has recently also started to hold winter symposiums. It has held joint meetings with the Korean Academy of Psychotherapists and the Korean Society of Biological Psychiatry. The KCNP became an associate member of the Korean Academy of Medical Science, and is presently affiliated as a regular member.

The academic journal of the KCNP was first published in 1990 as a means of introducing academic activities and expanding its basis. From volume 11 (2000) the journal was published four times per year, and this was increased to bimonthly in 2005. The journal was registered in the Korean Medical Citation Index issued on April 1, 2002. Furthermore, our journal became the first in the psychiatric field that was officially recognized by the Korean Research Foundation. It has become an exemplary journal for other academic associations. The official English-language journal of the KCNP was first published in 2003, which represents another major step for the development of quality Korean medical journals.

Prof. Sung Kil Min attended the 16th CINP meeting held in Munich, Germany, in 1988 as a representative of the KCNP after it qualified for CINP communication membership. The 10th anniversary of our college was commemorated by hosting an international symposium entitled “Pharmacotherapy and Quality of Life,” which was held in March 1995 at the Intercontinental Hotel. Four distinguished scholars attended as speakers: J. Davis (University of Illinois, US), A. Schatzberg (Stanford University, US), M. Trimble (National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK), and Y. Nakane (Nagasaki University, Japan). Recently, the KCNP became registered as the local CINP academic college, and several of our members are now also affiliated as members or fellows of the CINP.

Many KCNP members have presented papers at CINP congresses, which are held every 2 years. Prof. Chan Hyung Kim, a present member of the KCNP, has won the Rafelson Fellowship Award. In April 2000 the KCNP held an international symposium entitled “Psychopharmacotherapy in the New Millennium” in commemoration of its 15th anniversary, which was attended by Prof. H. Meltzer (Vanderbilt University, US) and Prof. I. Glick (Stanford University, US). The KCNP simultaneously held the first Internet-based cyber academic meeting and provided updated academic information to those who were not able to attend the meeting. Moreover, the KCNP now operates a website that allows members to search and refer to the original text of our journals, and provides the latest information about psychotropic drugs. In 2001 the KCNP officially participated in the CINP Regional Meeting held in Yokohama, at which numerous members presented posters and oral sessions. In 2002, at the CINP regular plenary sessions in Montreal, Canada, Prof. Hong-Shick Lee was elected chairman of the Membership and Credential Committee and also took charge of the Asia Regional Committee. These achievements are very significant since they show the substantial development of Korean academic associations, which will greatly contribute to the international academic activities of Korean members in the future.

The KCNP also supports domestic clinical research. As a part of this endeavor, our college hosted a multicenter study on the adequate dosage of risperidone in 1998 and provides research and training education for psychiatrists. Keenly feeling the need for a Korean clinical book providing guidelines on major psychiatric illness, and the need to develop the associated algorithms, the KCNP held a symposium about algorithms. Prof. Steven Shon (Texas University) had attended the fall meeting of the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association in 2000. Since then, our college has organized a Korean medication algorithm project committee for schizophrenia (director: Prof. Jun Soo Kwon, Seoul National University) and a Korean medication algorithm project committee for bipolar disorder (director: Prof. Won Myong Bahk, Catholic University) in collaboration with the Korean academy of schizophrenia, and has completed the first Korean book that provides guidelines on the medication of these disorders. These field trials are still in progress, and we are expecting to carry out projects investigating algorithms for other major mental disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Moreover, the KCNP holds intensive Continuing Medical Education(CME) courses on psychopharmacotherapy every year, which started in 2003. These programs will provide psychiatric residents and general practitioners with basic medical knowledge on psychopharmacology, an area that is developing rapidly. The programs are also aimed at providing the participants with strategies that will be useful in their clinical practices. In 2004 the KCNP organized a standardized psychopharmacotherapy education program, and will soon be publishing a textbook on neuropsychopharmacology (tentatively entitled “Clinical Neuropsychopharmacology”).

Although psychopharmacology is making rapid progress and now has a status higher than that in any previous period, providing clinicians with essential knowledge remains difficult. This is therefore one area that the KCNP is currently focusing on.