Physician • Educator • Researcher • Health Policy
Eric Rafla-Yuan, M.D. is a board-certified physician, researcher, educator, and policy expert. He is a voluntary assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, where he founded and led the psychiatry residency diversity committee. In this role he teaches other physicians and medical students, as well as social workers, nurses, and other professional students. He graduated medical school and completed additional training in bioethics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and completed residency training at the UC San Diego Community Psychiatry Program. 
Dr. Rafla-Yuan is dedicated to improving the health of individuals, families, and communities across California and the nation, and has previously served as senior policy advisor for the County of San Diego, and held leadership roles with the San Diego Psychiatric Society and the California State Association of Psychiatrists. He is on the board of the Miles Hall Foundation as well as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council of Advocacy and Government Relations. 
His research focuses on policy and structural drivers of health outcomes and his work on 988 and clinical crisis services has been published in popular media as well as the New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs. He is the vice president of the Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists, chair of the APA Caucus on the Social Determinants of Health, a delegate in the American Medical Association House of Delegates, and formerly served as Health Counsel in the United States House of Representatives during the 117th session of Congress.

As a board certified  psychiatrist, Dr. Rafla-Yuan works with patients of all ages and specializes in trauma and development. For many individuals, the often resulting challenges of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) get in the way of performing their best, feeling their best, or having the relationships they seek. Sometimes, and not uncommonly, it can even get in the way of individuals getting the medical or dental care they need. Dr. Rafla-Yuan utilizes a mentalization-based treatment (MBT) approach and believes that being patient-centered and trauma-informed is the most effective way to meet patients wherever they are. Dr. Rafla-Yuan has worked with a wide range of patients of all ages and backgrounds, in a wide range of settings, including academic medical center hospitals and clinics, residential treatment programs, public sector services, assertive community treatment (ACT) teams, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system. 

Dr. Rafla-Yuan earned his bachelor’s degree from Chapman University where he studied biology and chemistry before attending the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he also completed a Certificate in Biomedical Ethics at the Vanderbilt Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society. He completed psychiatry residency at the University of California San Diego where he served as chief resident physician for the Community Psychiatry Program. In this role he was responsible for the education of resident physicians, medical students, and advanced practice nursing students. He founded the UC San Diego Psychiatry Residency Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and served as the inaugural faculty chair. He has completed additional training in mentalization-based treatment (MBT) with Anthony Bateman and Peter Fonagy of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, who developed these techniques. Dr. Rafla-Yuan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Professional Memberships
 Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
American Medical Association ​​​​​​​
American Psychiatric Association
Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists
California Medical Association
California State Association of Psychiatrists
San Diego County Medical Society
San Diego Psychiatric Society

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