The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency at UCSD provides a two-year program of specialized training in child and adolescent psychiatry. The training program is an integral part of the General Psychiatry Residency Programs at UCSD.

Residents join staff in providing the best possible comprehensive care for children, adolescents, and their families. Child and adolescent psychiatry training is based on the philosophy that no single conceptual framework is sufficient to understand human behavior. Residents are taught to approach patients and their families from a developmental perspective using five clinical orientations: psychodynamic, psychosocial, biologic, behavioral, and cognitive. They are challenged to understand clinical issues in depth and to attempt formulations that integrate conceptual models.

Our Program recognizes that adequate training for the current and future practice of child and adolescent psychiatry is, of necessity, demanding. Beyond attaining essential knowledge, skills and attitudes, residents need to develop a sense of professional identity that includes being a secure physician, an advocate for children, a sensitive therapist, and a thoughtful participant or consultant within team structures. A primary goal of the Training Program is to produce leaders in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.

We have designed this program to foster the development of well-rounded, competent child and adolescent psychiatrists. Above all we value a serious and passionate commitment to the highest standards of patient care. Our philosophy emphasizes that fact that first and foremost, we are clinicians, dedicated and available to the needs of our patients. Training in brief and long-term individual therapy, supportive therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, family therapy, crisis intervention, pharmacotherapy, combined psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, group therapy, and cognitive and behavioral therapies is provided through direct clinical experience supported by supervision, theoretical and evidence-based seminars, and demonstrations by the teachers and skilled clinical practitioners, consultants, teachers, and administrators. We will specifically encourage pilot research protocols and other scholarly experiences. Our philosophy emphasizes the concept that research and scholarship are fundamental extensions of being a physician and child and adolescent psychiatrist.

We understand that residents will come to our program with different strengths and needs. Our objective is to insure clinical competence in childhood and adolescent psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, while being flexible enough to support learning opportunities according to a resident’s particular interests. Ample elective time is provided to encourage exploration and acquisition of skills in specific child and adolescent psychiatry subspecialties.

Residents in this program participate in a structured core clinical and educational experience, with rotations in the RCHSD pediatric hospital, RCHSD outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry clinic, the CAPS inpatient unit, Rady's Medical Behavioral Unit, Rady's ER and Crisis Stabilization Unit, Juvenile Forensics Services, San Diego community public school systems as well as Family Health Centers of San Diego. All residents participate in a variety of selectives, giving them exposure to all aspects of child and adolescent psychiatry. The Program is under the direction and supervision of the Training Director, Ellen K Heyneman, M.D.

UCSD and RCHSD are both accredited by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Hospitals. The Training Program is approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education’s Residency Review Committee for two years of training.