Greetings from the Chair

Dr. Milton Miller, who was Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1978 until his death in 2005, began this personal statement with, “What are the goals of science, medicine, industry, and education, and how do we know if we’re making any progress? Philosopher Harold Taylor’s answer is that the primary purpose of it all is to provide the deepest, richest, psychological and spiritual existence for the greatest number of people and that the best measure of things is simply which human being’s life is enhanced by what we do. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter.”

This is a wonderful introduction to Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and our Department of Psychiatry. The Department of Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is a terrific venue in which to immerse oneself in the momentum and excitement of psychiatry, neuroscience, social change, and emerging systems of medical care.

What is important about us is that, above all, we are needed. We provide public mental health care for more than two million people who reside in the coastal area of Los Angeles County. Recognizing that our patients are the fundamental reason for our being here, we also recognize that the education of our trainees is of the highest priority. To serve both of these functions, we expose our trainees to the full range of psychiatric treatment modalities, including a continued emphasis on psychotherapy and the importance of the patient/doctor relationship. Our ACGME-approved general psychiatry program has 29 residents, and our approved fellowship program in child and adolescent psychiatry has 8 fellows. We have 35 full-time faculty, over 60 clinical and voluntary staff, and additional trainees including pre- and post-doctoral psychology fellows, social work masters level students and nursing internship programs.

We often are described as a program with a highly “personal” or “family” feel to it. This is no accident, as a major effort is made to have each trainee become personally involved with their peers, the faculty, and their work. In this way, their training experience is potentiated by their life’s experience and th