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Interview with Loren Roth, M.D., M.P.H., 2022-04-20


Scope and Contents

Dr. Roth describes his training and the highlights of his career; he then tells how he became interested in the issue of abuse of psychiatry in the U.S.S.R. His two human rights trips to the U.S.S.R. in 1985 and 1986 are discussed next. Dr. Roth then gives an overview of the general political background to the visit and tensions between him and Ambassador Schifter about some critical aspect of the visit. Dr. Roth then describes in detail the negotiation process between the U.S. and Soviet side, the main stumbling blocks, how he managed to overcome them, and who were his allies. Dr. Roth describes the Soviet uncooperativeness and tensions between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then talks about informed consents, interview procedures, and the visit dynamics. He shares some anecdotes and most memorable events; he also talks about the people who meaningfully contributed to making the mission successful.

Olena Protsenko, a Post-doctoral Research Associate in Psychiatry and Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, conducted this interview remotely over the Zoom application.


  • Creation: 2022-04-20


Conditions Governing Access

In addition to the restrictions on access that applies to all the oral histories from the Soviet Psychiatry Oral History Project (2021-2022), Dr. Loren Roth requested that The University of Virginia only make his interview available to researchers on-site at the repository preserving the interview.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Roth was the psychiatric leader of the 1989 U.S. State Department investigative psychiatric mission to the U.S.S.R. Following 44 years of distinguished service to the Department of Psychiatry and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Loren H. Roth, M.D., M.P.H., was recognized and awarded Emeritus status at a special reception following the Department’s Annual Research Day held June 7, 2018. Prior to his being an Emeritus Professor, for the previous five years Dr. Roth was the Associate Senior Vice Chancellor, Clinic Policy and Planning, Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Clinical and Translational Science; and Senior Advisor, Quality, UPMC Health Plan. In addition to his many academic positions, Dr. Roth has held multiple leadership roles at UPMC culminating in his being the first Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (U.P.M.C.) (2003-2007).


From the Series: 138.5775 Gigabytes

From the Series: .25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

From the Series: Russian

Repository Details

Part of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections Repository

Arthur J. Morris Law Library
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22903 United States