Leadership and Advocacy

Leadership

Our senior residents play key leadership roles within our program as chief residents. We have chief residents for each of our core services – inpatient, emergency, consultation-liaison, and outpatient. These chief residents work closely with faculty, residents, and program leadership to ensure high quality experience for both our patients and our trainees on our services. We also have a chief resident of education, who helps guide and improve our curriculum efforts. We frequently offer tailored chief resident experiences for senior residents with leadership interests beyond core services, with recent examples including customized chief resident positions focused USC Keck services and integrated care.

Residents of all years serve in various program and department committees, including our new Diversity and Social Justice Committee. Our residents frequently serve in positions for regional psychiatric associations such as the Southern California Psychiatric Society (SCPS).

Committee Of Interns And Residents

The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest housestaff union in the United States, representing over 17,000 resident physicians and fellows who are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities. Through the union, residents have access to expanded insurance (including medical, dental, vision, and disability), mental health counseling, student loan consultations, Rosetta Stone courses, and an educational fund. A patient care fund is available to support residents to tackle projects to expand and improve medical & psychiatric care for LA County patients. The union is actively involved in improving immigration policy, promoting racial justice, advancing reproductive rights, and preventing of gun violence. Psychiatry residents frequently hold leadership positions within the union.

Diversity And Social Justice

The Diversity and Social Justice Committee, while formally established in Spring 2020, is the culmination of many conversations over the years exploring the intersection of psychiatry and social justice. This committee is open to all residents and faculty committed to building a more equitable society for ourselves and for our patients. Meetings are held twice a month and are focused on developing the following key components of our program:

315Community

Our program is committed to recruiting and nurturing a diverse community of residents, faculty, and staff, with a goal of engaging members of historically underrepresented groups in medicine. We embrace diversity across multiple dimensions, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic background, and immigration status. We are proud to cultivate a safe and inclusive training environment that emphasizes respect for all.

Education

We recognize that traditional medical education falls short when it comes to caring for our diverse patient population. To this end, we have incorporated structural competency and social justice training as an integral part of resident education to provide excellent care to patients experiencing complex social barriers to mental health. We have initiated monthly social justice forums during department-wide Grand Rounds.

Advocacy

We also recognize that health justice and medical systems exist in larger contexts outside of the hospital or academia. Residents and faculty are active in local, national, and global projects to promote equitable psychiatric care and healthcare reforms. Furthermore, our program aims to establish sustainable and equitable partnerships with community organizations.

Residents are actively engaged in advocacy through:

  1. Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR): Advancing better health care for our patients and community using our collective bargaining power as a national housestaff union
  2. Southern California Psychiatric Society (SCPS): Advocating locally and at a state level for legislative changes to support improvements in mental health care
  3. LAC+USC Healthcare Administrators Scholars Program (HASP): Enhancing knowledge of healthcare administration with experts in public policy, business and engineering, and Los Angeles community leaders
  4. American Psychiatric Association Fellowships: Expanding professional networks to work with leaders in organized psychiatry