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UCSD Psychiatry Residency Diversity Committee


The University of California San Diego Psychiatry Residency Program is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among our trainees and faculty. We are committed to developing psychiatrists who possess cultural humility and structural competence and who provide excellent and equitable care for all patients. 

Diversity. We define diversity broadly as the representation of all of our individual differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, and sexual orientation. We aim to recruit, retain, and advance physicians from all backgrounds including traditionally underrepresented groups to better reflect and respond to the needs of our vibrant patient population in San Diego. 

Equity. Recognizing that structural inequities continue to persist, both in our community and in our institution, we strive to identify and challenge inequities within our program and ensure that all faculty and trainees receive fair treatment and equal opportunity. We recognize that trainees and faculty from groups underrepresented in medicine face a unique set of challenges. To us fostering equity to us includes being sensitive to those challenges and providing support and resources to help overcome them. We also believe that all patients deserve high quality health care. To promote both of these endeavors, we aim to educate physicians who actively work to understand the social determinants of health. Through advocacy, clinical training, didactic curriculum, and community outreach, we aim to train physician leaders who improve the health of our communities.

Inclusion. We seek to create and maintain a culture of respect, safety, and acceptance. We seek trainees and faculty who are open to critically examining their own implicit biases as well as those who help bring attention to policies and structural barriers to inclusion in our program. We believe whom the inclusion of varied perspectives, including those that  have historically been marginalized, fosters a more stimulating and productive training environment and ultimately enhances our ability to build empathy and provide quality care for our patients.


Areas of focus:
  • Education
    Our goal is to promote an anti-racist agenda within our curriculum to better our practice as psychiatrists. We have incorporated topics ranging from structural competency to allyship within our resident round lectures (see below for specifics). We are also working to add a learning component focused specifically on exploring mental health disparities and how racism plays a role in this. In addition, we actively host journal clubs and documentary screenings to challenge our own biases and further educate ourselves on how to combat racism.

  • Community Outreach/Mentorship
    Underrepresented in medicine (URM) means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population. As such, we understand the importance of providing mentorship to both UCSD URM medical students and pre-med students. Additionally, we seek to empower the patients and communities we serve by being engaged in different community activities.

  • Recruitment
    San Diego is a diverse county that houses over 3 million individuals of varying backgrounds, races, ethnicities, languages, and immigration/asylee statuses. It is imperative to the health and success of our patients that both our trainees and faculty reflect the diversity of the communities that we serve. Given this, we are committed to holding our department accountable for creating and upholding recruitment policies and procedures that are actively fair, equitable, and anti-racist. We look forward to engaging prospective residents in discussion on diversity and inclusion at UCSD in recruitment programming this season.

Diversity in San Diego

San Diego County is home to an incredibly diverse community of 3.2 million residents of various backgrounds. According to the Health and Human Services Agency, the race/ethnicity breakdown is as follows: 33.4% Hispanic, 46.2% White, 4.7% Black, 11.9% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.4% American Indian/Alaskan Natives. San Diego also has a large immigrant/asylee population and 23.6% of residents are foreign born. Approximately 9.8% have disabilities including cognitive difficulties. Due to the presence of the naval base, the county also has a relatively large veteran population (9.1%). Furthermore, 18.5% of the population are at or below 130% of FPL and 10.4% of the population do not have health insurance. In the City of San Diego, 17% of residents are chronically homeless and of those individuals, 8% are youth and 8% are veterans.

Diversity Committee Leadership

Lawrence Malak, MD
Faculty Chair

​Eric Rafla-Yuan, MD

Faculty Chair

​Tiffany Castillo, MD
Resident Chair

Kristen Kim, MD
Resident Vice Chair

Diversity Curriculum

  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Structural Competency
  • Racism and psychiatry
  • Social injustice and mental health
Lectures and presentations:
  • Anti-Racist Approaches to Clinical Care by Dr. Rupinder Legha, MD, Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Assistant Research Scientist, UCLA  Center for Health Services 
  • Structural Racism and Psychiatry by Dr. Ruth Shim, MD, MPH, Director of Cultural Psychiatry and Associate Professor, UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Ally skills workshop by Dr. Lisa Eyler, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego Healthcare System; Clinical Research Psychologist, VA San Diego Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center 

Scholarly Activity

  • Alderman, T., J. Addington, C. Bearden, T.D. Cannon, B.A. Cornblatt, T.H. McGlashan, D.O. Perkins, L.J. Seidman, M.T. Tsuang, E.F. Walker, S.W. Woods, and Cadenhead, K.S. Negative symptoms and impaired social functioning predict later psychosis in Latino youth at clinical high risk in the North American prodromal longitudinal studies consortium. Early Interv Psychiatry, 2014.
  • Chlebowski, C., Magaña, S., Wright, B., Brookman-Frazee, L. Implementing an intervention to address challenging behaviors for autism spectrum disorder in publicly-funded mental health services: Therapist and parent perceptions of delivery with Latinx families. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol (2018).
  • Cesarz, A., Postlethwaite, A., Wu, M., Ranjan Dube, A., Sturner, R. "El No Es Mi Padre": A Discussion of the Practical and Ethical Dilemmas in the Case of a Psychotic Immigrant Teen. Accepted for presentation as a clinical case conference at annual American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting in San Francisco, October 2020. 
  • Kim, K., Park, J. Attitudes toward suicide among college students in South Korea and the United States. Int J Ment Health Syst 8, 17 (2014). 
  • Malik, S., Amendolara, B., Badre, N. (2020, Jul 20). Defund the police’: An important moment for society and psychiatry. MDedge.
  • Mahmood Z, Kelsven S, Cadenhead K, Wyckoff J, Reyes-Madrigal F, de la Fuente-Sandoval C, Twamley EW. Compensatory Cognitive Training for Latino Youth at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2019;10:951.
  • Pierce, K., Shapiro, G., Song, S., Fortuna, L., Postlethwaite, A., Cesarz, A., Feder, J. Youth at the border: Do NO MORE Harm. Accepted for presentation as a clinical perspective at the annual American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Meeting in San Francisco, October 2020. 
  • Eric Rafla-Yuan, MD, Michael Degroot, MD, Deanna Rafla-Yuan, JD, Adam Mehis, MS. Psychiatry at the Border: Translating Between Politics and Medicine in the Trump Era; American Psychiatric Association Annual Conference; San Francisco, CA, May 2019
  • Eric Rafla-Yuan, Asher Aladjem, Henry Wiesman, Adel Zaraa, Mary Ann Cohen. Ethical and Psychiatric Challenges in the Treatment of and Advocacy for the Displaced Individual— a Collaborative Bioethics and Global Health SIGs Symposium; Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Annual Conference; Palm Springs, CA, Nov 2017
  • Rafla-Yuan, E., Ma, J. (2020, Aug 4). A Southern California outbreak highlights failures of the American health care system. KevinMD.
  • Stephanie Martinez, MD, Tarina Quraishi, MD, Eric Rafla Yuan, MD, Priti Ojha, MD, Lawrence Malak, MD. Psychiatric Decompensation From New Immigration Policies and Enforcement at the United States – Mexico Border. American Psychiatric Association Annual Conference; New York, NY, May 2018


  • Please click here to see a calendar of upcoming diversity-related events in our department.  
  • To submit events to the calendar for review, please use the following form: 

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