Physician • Educator • Research • Health Policy
Eric Rafla-Yuan, M.D. is a board-certified physician, award-winning researcher and educator, and a nationally recognized 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 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 is appointed to California's Governor's Office of Emergency Services 988 Technical Advisory Board, previously served as Senior Policy Advisor for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and has held a number of leadership roles with local and state organizations, including the San Diego County Medical Society, San Diego Psychiatric Society, California Medical Association, and California State Association of Psychiatrists.
His research focuses on policy and structural drivers of health outcomes and he is the first person to write about 988 and clinical crisis services in a major medical journal, with his work being published in popular media as well as the New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs. He is recognized nationally, serving as the chair of American Psychiatric Association Caucus on the Social Determinants of Mental Health, a delegate in the American Medical Association's House of Delegates, and Vice President of the Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists. Dr. Rafla-Yuan formerly served in Washington, D.C. as Health Counsel for Congressman Tony Cárdenas and Staff Director of the bipartisan 988 & Crisis Services Congressional Task Force 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, challenges with anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) get in the way of people 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 mental health services and community clinics, federally qualified health centers (FQHC), assertive community treatment (ACT) teams, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system.
Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
American Association for Commuity Psychiatry
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