I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM). As a past recipient of a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) award, I completed his MD-PhD in the Harvard/MIT Program of Health Sciences and Technology with his thesis work in development neurobiology.
After completing residency training at UWSOM, I was awarded a KL2 career development grant and went on to publish in the field of structural and functional neuroimaging with an emphasis on neural changes with aging. I am board certified and currently work as a staff psychiatrist at Harborview Medical Center (HMC) where I am the Medical Director for the Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES). I am also the Director of Psychiatry Clerkships at the UWSOM, coordinating clinical education in psychiatry cross the 5 state WWAMI region (WA, WY, AL, MT and ID). In this capacity, I routinely lectures to primary care providers and residents on suicidality, psychosis, psychopharmacology and drug abuse.
Early in my training it became clear that intense pathology transfixed me so inpatient psychiatry was a natural fit. My specific area of expertise within psychiatry is care of the acutely ill hospitalized psychiatric patient. I have also developed clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of Catatonia. In addition to clinical care, education is another area of interest. I love to teach and it has been the focus of my career. I am intimately involved in the education of psychiatry residents and am a founding faculty member of the Clinician-Teacher Pathway for our residency program. In addition to teaching medical students and residents, I regularly educate primary care providers on detection and treatment of psychiatric illnesses in primary settings. I assumed the role of Vice Chair of Education in 2020 and in that role I oversee all educational efforts for our department.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington State. I am the Director of the Psychology Internship Program which is accredited by the American Psychological Association. And, I conduct research on health and risk behaviors across the lifespan. Specifically, I have conducted research in the areas of college student alcohol use, young adult gambling behavior, and co-morbidity of substance use and mental health/risk behaviors (i.e. risky sexual behaviors). I have extensive experience working with college students/young adults, military/veteran, and minority/diverse populations. I am also interested in mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I maintain an active clinical practice in the areas of mental health issues with patients with cancer and organ transplant patients, and have clinical responsibilities at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and supervise psychology residents at the UW Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic.
I am a national expert on collaborative care and specifically, on training teams to implement and deliver mental health treatment in primary care settings. My passion for translating complex research ideas into practical real-world applications began when I received my MD and PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California at Irvine. I am currently is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington where I have developed additional expertise in suicide prevention training, mental health workforce development, adult learning best practices, and mentorship. I am the Director of the UW Psychiatry Resident Training Program, Co-Director of the AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) and Director of the UW Integrated Care Training Program for residents and fellows.
As a geriatric psychiatrist, my professional interests revolve around improving the quality of lives for people with dementia, dementia-related psychiatric symptoms, and their caregivers. I provide direct clinical care as a psychiatrist at the VA Puget Sound, and I am involved in projects addressing dementia-related agitation. As the UW geriatric psychiatry fellowship director, I also recognize that training the next generation of geriatric psychiatrists is vital in order to meet the growing population needs in geriatrics.