Puerto Rican Idalia Massa She became the first psychologist to be on the editors’ panel of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) flagship Guide to Compensation.
Massa, who currently lives in Denver, Colorado, was nominated by the American Psychological Association to represent that area at the American level on the prestigious committee.
Then, last week the AMA accepted and appointed a Puerto Rican to the panel, which the APA observed for the first time that someone from the field of psychology is on said panel.
Massa received the news with emotion, while also congratulating friends, colleagues, and health professionals in the state of Colorado, where he currently lives. He remarked that he had received a letter from the World Health Organisation’s Department of Mental Health highlighting this fact.
“For the first time in history, going to be on a psychologist panel that makes decisions in the American Medical Association … It’s a pride, an honor (to be) representing Puerto Rico,” Massa said in a conversation. Denver to El Nuevo Dia.
“It’s a matter of great pride that a Jiberita from the San Lorenzo area is now going to make decisions in the field of mental health,” he said.
The Guide for the Evaluation of Permanent Disability is used in the United States, Canada, and other countries to make determinations about medical outcomes in cases of injury.
This guide is so important that it is used by a variety of entities when awarding billions of dollars annually in compensation claims for health reasons.
According to Massa, “these determinations are used to make decisions on disability claims, malpractice damages, personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.”
Massa has spent much of his professional career in this field since joining the US Department of Health in 2001. At the time of his appointment to the APA, he is a Licensed Health and Rehabilitation Psychologist.
The daughter of a construction worker and a nurse, Massa hails from the Jaguar neighborhood of San Lorenzo.
“It’s a small town, where everyone knows each other and there is respect and honor to be polite,” he proudly recalled.
Massa is a product of the Puerto Rican public education system and is a graduate of the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).
He later completed his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University and Columbia University in New York before settling in Colorado.
At UPR, in the late 1990s, his name became known when he published a study on the criminal case of ngel Colón Maldonado, considered the only documented case of a murderer, in the journal Faculty of Social Sciences . In series in Puerto Rico.
His report has served as a reference for other studies that have addressed the infamous case, which shook the island in the mid-1980s.
“The person who wrote the article was not a doctor, he was a high school student. High school students should be recognized,” Massa said.
“I want to commend the high school students from UPR and all the universities in Puerto Rico. You have to inspire young people who are trying to earn their high school degrees,” he said.