7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2009
Medical Student
A board search didn't yield much, and I was wondering what others thought of this program in terms of the training? I know that the neuroscience research is supposed to be good but I'm looking for feedback on the residency and quality of the clinical experiences and therapy training. Thanks so much!


Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
Attending Physician
I didn't attend UCSD but considered it. It's a strong residency program. As you say, it has a good reputation for research (though from what I've seen, this applies more to the medical school than the residency).

It's a well-rounded, solid program across the board. Like San Diego, it feels smaller than it actually is (which is a strength for some and a drawback to others). There's a good public hospital exposure, but Hillcrest doesn't feel like Harbor, SFGH, or LA County (which again is a good thing for some and not for others). There's a lot of VA exposure, but it's not as overwhelming as West LA VA. There are good opportunities for public psychiatry and working with the homeless population, moreso than UCLA-NPI or UCI, less so than UCLA-Harbor or UCSF. From what I've heard, the therapy training is pretty good.

I interviewed at about 14 or so psychiatry residencies and I can say confidently that Dr. Zisook was quite possibly my favorite program director I came across. Good vision, excellent interpersonal skills. The culture at UCSD seems strong. I'd have no reservations about attending there.
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Senior Curmudgeon
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
Left of Center
Attending Physician
Dr. Zisook is on my short list of "Program Directors' Program Directors."
Great man.
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Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2001
Los Angeles, CA
Visit site
Attending Physician
Sid is a great PD. Rumor has it he may be stepping down at some point. I know his potential successors and they're all very very good.

There have been a lot of changeover in the department, including a new chair, all for the better for trainees.

The therapy training is good, but you have to advocate for yourself. It will not be spoonfed to you. You must seek out supervisors early and often, and make sure to speak to the RTO regularly, always planning for the next year. I got quite good therapy training there, but there were gaps (as there is everywhere), and I made sure to fill those in on my own. Usually you get a good psychodynamic supervisor (usually an analyst), as well as CBT, and aim to do a case for each during 2nd year, with the option to continue as you move up. I then did 3-4 cases third year, some of which I continued fourth year.
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