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About Our Fellowship Program

Our Professional Identity: Who We Are & What We Do

"When you know who you are, when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive."
— Chief Seattle (1780-1866)

Simply put, we come to work every day because we believe that every child and family, regardless of their background or life circumstances, deserves a life that is healthy and meaningful. We face hard truths daily, in that life is certainly not fair, and many families have been carrying the burden of suffering for multiple generations. Despite facing great hardships, our patients inspire us every day with their grit, resilience, and perseverence to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

As child and adolescent psychiatrists, we have the privilege and honor of accompanying children and their families on their journey towards healing, and in the process learn to grow and heal ourselves as well. The cornerstone values of our professional identity are humanity, empathy, equity, dedication, mutual respect, openness, and ethical care. We are looking for team members who fully embrace and realize these values through their own life experiences, insight, and a growth-oriented mindset to continually progress and develop over time.

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program at UC San Diego is focused upon producing child psychiatrists who are well-schooled in all of the diagnostic and treatment techniques currently proven to be the most effective in dealing with emotionally disturbed children, adolescents and their families; and capable of pursuing research or academic careers.

The program is organized to effect an optimum balance between theory and experience in evaluating and treating children and adolescents. The clinical experience is very carefully supervised and each Fellow has weekly supervision during the entire two years with clinical supervisors who represent a diversity of theoretical persuasions. This eclectic orientation is also reflected in the formal seminars, which range from basic macromolecular biology to clinical psychopharmacology to psychological theories of child development and child psychoanalysis. The program includes an organized research component and a required research project.

The two-year program is coordinated in such a way as to provide the widest variety of educational experiences within a framework of longitudinal continuity. Some courses such as theDiagnostic-Continuous Case Conference, the Literature Seminars, and the weekly Grand Rounds are planned as two- year experiences while others, such as the Therapeutic Intervention Seminar, are completed in the first year. Other experiences, such as the Inpatient Rotation (first year) and the School Consultation Rotation (second year), are strategically placed in the curriculum in concert with the fellow’s level of experience.

The acquisition of diagnostic skills is emphasized early in the training program. A range of diagnostic and treatment experience is provided from the beginning of the first year by presenting the resident with some cases which have been evaluated and are ready for treatment, while others must be evaluated de novo. It is expected that a core of cases, from all developmental phases, will be treated for the entire two years, while others will be seen for shorter periods of time.

Supervisory experience is heavily emphasized. The fellow will be exposed to all of the major models of therapeutic intervention, as they rotate through the Outpatient Psychiatry Service (three sites), the Consultation-Liaison rotation at Children’s Hospital, the School Program, and the inpatient experience.


Sabina Perez
Program Administrator