Commitment to Diversity

The Department of Psychiatry strives to promote diversity through the recruitment of educators and trainees, caring for patients of varied backgrounds, and extending research to a wider pool of participants.

Diversity Committee

The Department's Diversity Committee is an advisory panel to the department chair. The committee consists of faculty from LPPI, SFGH and the VA, and always includes representation from residents and psychology fellows. Its primary role is to assist and inform department leadership in the recruitment and retention of students and faculty from under-represented populations. Every search committee includes a member from the group to ensure the search reaches applicants from under represented communities. 

2012-2013 Committee Members:

Laurel Heights
Nicki Bush, PhD

Pat Areán, PhD, Chair
Wendy Berry Mendes, PhD
Keith Hermanstyne, MD, MPH
Mardi J. Horowitz, MD
Karen Mu, MD
Uyen-Khanh Quang-Dang, MD
Geetha Reddy, MD, MPH
Jewel Shim, MD
Alla Spivak, MD
Nadia Taylor, MD, MS

Christina Mangurian, MD

Miran Choi, MD
Anne Richards, MD, MPH

In addition to its advisory role, the Committee hosts the yearly Evelyn Lee Visiting Scholar Lecture, which is held in October in conjunction with UCSF's diversity celebrations. Leading experts in cross-cultural mental health and health disparities research present their work to our students and faculty.

What is Cultural Competence?

The 2002 IOM report defines culture as: the accumulated store of shared values, ideas (attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms), understandings, symbols, material products, and practices of a group of people. Cultural Competence is a skill that anyone hoping to work effectively with patients must develop. One must develop culturally competent attitudes, knowledge and skills.  The clinician must cultivate an attitude of cultural humility, realizing that he or she has a world view that this not universal. It is important to put preconceived notions aside and attend to the perspective of the patient at hand. The best cultural teacher will be the patient. Outside information about the patient’s culture must be put in the context of the individual, for cultural competence is much more complex that the knowledge of isolated cultural facts.  True cultural competence comes not just from understanding the role of culture from the perspective of the patient but also from the perspective of the clinician. Clinicians must be comfortable examining the aspects of their own culture that interfere with their ability to see others as they truly are, rather than as filtered through a lens of preconceived notions.


The Diversity Committee has compiled these resources to help educators ensure they are able to recruit and retain students from under represented communities, to help researchers recruit a diverse pool of participants, and to help clinicians access the latest culturally tailored assessment and treatment tools.

Tools for:


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service