Community Psychiatry

All residents receive experience in consultation to community systems of care, providing consultation under direct supervision from a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. Residents collaborate with pediatricians as part of the SmartCare program operated by Vista Hill Foundation. They also have a required first year rotation at Family Health Centers of San Diego, which includes work in a community outpatient psychiatry clinic and spending one afternoon at an integrated site with Pediatrics.


Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) is a community clinic providing primary care, dental, pediatric services and mental health care to over 155,000 individuals per year in San Diego. FHCSD is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient Centered Medical Home.  FHCSD delivers high quality care, which is accessible and affordable to members of the community.  FHCSD also plays a key role in increasing access to mental health treatment in the community, providing care to children and adolescents in the primary care setting, as well as to those transitioning out of higher levels of outpatient care.

All first year fellows (both traditional and community tracks) have a required 2.5 month rotation at FHCSD during which they spend two and a half days per week at a mental health clinic, and one afternoon at an integrated site with Pediatrics, for a total of 6 half day sessions per week. At the main clinic, fellows will provide psychiatric assessment, evaluation for psychopharmacology, and ongoing psychopharmacologic management. At the integrated site, they engage in cutting edge evidence based collaborative care treatment of adolescents with mental health challenges in the primary care setting.  They see on average 3-4 patients per half-day and have direct, on-site supervision for every case they see from UCSD clinical faculty and from FHCSD child psychiatrists. Fellows do not have call obligations to Family Health Centers.

The educational experience at FHCSD offers not only a rich clinical rotation and exposure to the community clinic setting, but also an introduction to administrative and organizational issues relevant to public sector behavioral health services. FHCSD is located 15 minutes drive from Rady Children's Hospital.