Skip Navigation Celebrating America's Women Physicians
Changing the face of Medicine Home Visit Physicians
Resources Activities Share your Story



Dr. U. DianeBuckingham

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1955

Medical School

University of Kansas School of Medicine



Career Path

Psychiatry: Child and Adolescent
Dr. U. DianeBuckingham


Dr. Buckingham was named Black Outstanding Psychiatric Resident in the Cause of African American Families and Children by Black Psychiatrists of America.
Dr. Buckingham received the Black National Medical Association, Psychiatry Division, Chester Pierce Resident’s Award.
Dr. Buckingham received the Presidential Scholar Award from the Black American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


I became a doctor because I wanted to decide on the care of my patients. I decided to leave nursing to have more direct patient involvement.


Dr. U. Diane Buckingham began her career in medicine as a registered nurse, and decided to train as a physician to be able to respond to the psychiatric needs of her patients, especially children and adolescents. She is currently clinical assistant professor at the University Of Missouri Kansas City School Of Medicine and in private practice.

Although she experienced discrimination as she launched her career, Dr. Buckingham benefited from the support of mentors and her own drive to have more direct involvement with patients. She is especially proud of her role in empowering patients to demand better health care. Areas of Dr. Buckingham's current private practice focus on children and adolescents with ADHD, Tourette's syndrome, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She is a nationally recognized expert in providing psychiatric care to African Americans and multicultural children, and travels the country giving speeches to educate parents, teachers and health professionals about culturally correct assessments tools and treatment options, not only with ADHD, but other behavioral and mental health diagnosis. Dr. Buckingham is committed to raising awareness of the benefits of behavioral health treatment in communities of color. In that way, she says, "patients will no longer avoid mental health treatment because of its stigma."

Dr. Buckingham served as Chair of the National Medical Association from July 2007 to July 2009. In July 2008, she was awarded one of the largest unrestricted educational grants in the history of the psychiatry section. She has received numerous awards including the Black Psychiatrists of America award for Outstanding Psychiatric Resident in the Cause of African American Families and Children in 1994 and a Presidential Scholar Award in 1991 from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has also served as an officer of the local chapter of the NAACP.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

I believe my greatest obstacles were the perceptions of others, based on color and womanhood.

How do I make a difference?

I enjoyed the education of patients and parents. I believe by educating your patients, you empower them for better health care.

Who was my mentor?

I can name two mentors: Dr. Shadrack Smith, a mentor to me while I was in nursing school, and Dr. Jeanne Spurlock, whom I met while I was a medical student, at my first National Medical Association meeting.

How has my career evolved over time?

During the age that most physicians are going into a group practice, I have been able to build a solo private practice for patients of color.