Messages from Chair and Training Director
Greetings from the Interim Department Chair
Christopher G. Fichtner, M.D.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the UC Riverside School of Medicine.
Our department has grown tremendously since its founding in 2014 and features a diverse and talented group of clinical and research faculty meeting the needs of our community of Inland Southern California. We serve our community as an integrated department with Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Pain Management. We provide comprehensive care for individuals seeking treatment for psychiatric, neurologic, neurosurgical and pain conditions.
We are the only university-based academic program in Riverside County, and with our active and vibrant research endeavors, our patients have access to receive tomorrow’s treatments today. We offer specialty care in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, stuttering, child/adolescent conditions, treatment resistant depression, ADHD, refractory bipolar disorder, OCD, Tourette’s, PTSD and other illnesses. We also have clinical operations based in Orange County and the Coachella Valley.
Through our advanced treatment utilizing telemedicine, our clinicians are able to assist Californians across our state. Our faculty physicians also provide specialized care in multiple sclerosis, headache, stroke, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, spine disorders, and pain.
We have developed a unique psychiatry residency training program that emphasizes innovative clinical care in a variety of settings. With such diversity in training with supervision from internationally renowned faculty, our graduates are well prepared to serve our community.
We operate our psychiatric residency and fellowship programs with the simple, operating principle where education and quality of life are first and foremost. We emphasize education over service in our residency and fellowships where nights and weekends are free from required duties allowing our trainees to pursue scholarly work and community service.
Our fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and addiction medicine, the latter in partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Eisenhower Health, allow us to address special areas of need in our community.
There is so much more to say about our program - more than can be covered in a short message such as this. If you have questions that I can answer for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Christopher G. Fichtner, M.D.
Clinical Professor & Interim Chair
Greetings from the Training Director
Takesha Cooper, M.D., M.S
IThe UC Riverside Psychiatry Residency Training Program was founded in 2014 with the mission of providing innovative healthcare today and training the physicians of tomorrow. Since that time, we have grown immensely under the leadership of our Department Chair, Gerald A. Maguire, M.D. As an ACGME accredited program, we train up to 32 residents per year and offer advanced fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and recently developed an addiction medicine fellowship in partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Eisenhower Health. Some of our other clinical partners include Riverside University Health System, Patton State Hospital, Pacific Grove Hospital, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Veterans Affairs in Long Beach & Loma Linda, Kaiser Riverside and more. Our main university clinical operation, UCR Health is located downtown Riverside and our trainees treat patients using state of the art medications, psychotherapy and participate in neuropsychological assessment of patients at this site. We also have clinical operations based in Orange County and the Coachella Valley.
As the only university-based academic program in Riverside County, and with our active and vibrant research endeavors, our residents collaborate with faculty in the Department of Psychology, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Center for Healthy Communities and more. Residents are encouraged to spend time in scholarly pursuits, including clinical and research opportunities, rather than spending time encumbered by service commitments. This year alone, residents have collaborated with faculty members to publish articles/chapters on The Pharmacologic Treatment of Stuttering and its Neuropharmacologic Basis, New Medications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Psychopharmacology of Prescribing to Diverse Children and more. Prior to the pandemic, our residents were scheduled to present more than 10 posters at the APA meeting. In addition, our department is working on a 4th volume Case Series textbook with our faculty member and expert world-renowned psychopharmacologist, Dr. Stephen Stahl, MD, PhD that will highlight cases treated by our UCR residents and faculty. This text is modeled after Dr. Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology Case Studies series and is aimed at exemplifying the complexity of psychopharmacology, including teaching points and the multitude of adjustments required in the pursuit of a good outcome for our patients. In the spirit of teamwork, most of our residents are partnering with a faculty member and medical student to collaborate on each chapter.
Our program features dedicated faculty mentors, opportunities to earn financial assistance through work opportunities, and financial support to present at national and international conferences. In addition, the program features no call or weekends. Residents have an opportunity to work closely with our chair, who in addition to treating patients works closely supervising residents in clinic. Also, our Associate Program Directors Brenda Jensen, M.D. at the VA Long Beach works hands-on with residents and Richard Lee, M.D. who also serves as the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Director supervises residents while on their child psychiatry rotation in their second year. This academic year, we are incorporating an advanced psychopharmacology clinic supervised by Dr. Stahl who will provide expert advice to residents treating patients with refractory illness. Didactic lectures are protected time on Wednesdays and include traditional lectures as well as case conferences from renowned experts including Roger McIntrye, M.D. and even the dean of our medical school who also is a child, adolescent and addiction psychiatrist, Dr. Deborah Deas, M.D., M.P.H.
We believe we have developed a unique psychiatry residency training program that emphasizes innovative clinical care in a variety of settings. Given that our patient population in the Inland Empire is culturally diverse, we encourage cultural humility and acceptance of our patients and each other. Some of our residents serve on our Diversity Advisory Committee which works on ways to improve equity and inclusion within our program including implementing holistic review of our residency applicants. We have a diverse group of faculty that acknowledges diversity in its broadest sense. Of our incoming interns, 50% were considered financially disadvantaged in high school or before, 62.5% speak more than 1 language and many are from groups underrepresented in medicine. To help foster inclusion and reduce barriers to higher education access, we support pathway and outreach programs all the way from middle school through high school, college and medical school to mentor promising candidates to provide care to our patient population. With such diversity in training with supervision from internationally renowned faculty in a variety of treatment settings, our graduates are well prepared to serve our community. To further support our trainees, we provide loan repayment to our graduates that stay with us and provide care to our underserved community, and many are able to join our faculty upon completion of residency and/or fellowship training. We hold to the simple operating principle that education and quality of life are first and foremost, and perhaps because of this, a large number of our graduating medical students have chosen to enter our field of psychiatry thereby helping reduce the healthcare shortage of mental health providers in the Inland Southern California area.
As someone who was raised in Riverside county, this is not only my home, but a great place to live, learn and work. Feel free to contact me at Takesha.Cooper@medsch.ucr.edu to learn more about all that our Psychiatry Residency Training Program has to offer!