What is PCFA?

Members of PCFA Board of Directors Having Lunch After Annual Meeting

The Psychiatric Clinical Faculty Association (PCFA) is a 501(c)(3) California corporation based in Los Angeles, California. The organization is dedicated to teaching the art and science of psychiatry to trainees at the University of California, Los Angeles. Membership consists of UCLA clinical faculty members who volunteer their time and energies to teach the university's psychiatry trainees across a variety of settings, including: clinical supervision, on-site staffing, seminars, lectures and mentoring.

PCFA contributes expertise to the clinical curriculum in the university's psychiatric residency training programs and provides funds for residency activities. It also serves its members by representing them in the university and by providing ongoing educational activities.


From the President’s Perspective

Wayne Sandler, M.D., Ph.D.

by Wayne Sandler, M.D., Ph.D.

As the current President of the PCFA I find myself in a unique position.  If it were not for the untimely death of David Coffey in January 2012, I would not have replaced him as President-elect. David was a dedicated member of the Clinical Faculty, and he was actively engaged in promoting the PCFA’s mission.  What makes my position unique is that David left a generous bequest which I have the responsibility to help direct over the next two years.  I feel it is important to honor David’s vision and interests by executing many of his ideas.

A vision without execution could be considered an hallucination.  Keeping this in mind, I will describe what the PCFA is doing to promote and enhance clinical psychiatric education for all psychiatry residents, medical students and other health trainee at UCLA.

Due to the closure of several psychiatric facilities in Los Angeles, there has been an increase in the service demands of the residency.  The clinical faculty strives to maximize teaching within the time constraints of these increased service demands.  The ability to observe therapy being provided, whether by yourself or others, would add a valuable dimension to this teaching.  Understanding this, the PCFA has directed funds toward current technologies in two ways.

First, we started a pilot project using Samsung split screen technology to capture video recordings of residents providing therapy to their patients.  The goal of this project is to provide a simple and convenient method for residents to tape therapy sessions with their patients.  This will facilitate later review of the sessions with their supervisors.

A second area where funds are being directed is in the building of a digitized video library.  The library will eventually be available to residents and faculty via the PCFA website.  We are fortunate that Dick Metzner generously volunteered both his limited time and his limitless expertise to spearhead both of these projects.  Note that the impetus for this video library project arose directly from resident requests.  The residents emphasized how this library will enhance the teaching of psychotherapy by directly illustrating psychotherapy principles.  Since the editing is best done by a fellow psychiatrist, the board decided to provide Dick Metzner with the equipment necessary to more easily maintain and edit the vast material available.  

Another project that David Coffey was involved with was Psychiatry and the Cinema.  A sponsored event occurred on 4/16/14 at which Roman Polanski’s movie “Repulsion” was screened.  Dr. Behnaz Jalai was the discussant from the Department of Psychiatry and Ron Kelly was the discussant from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. James Greenberg author of Roman Polanski: A Retrospective also participated as a discussant.  We funded the event from the David Coffey Fund.  We plan to sponsor similar Psychiatry and the Cinema nights at regular intervals and to call them the Dr. David Coffey Memorial Film Night.

Other ongoing programs that the PCFA maintains include the Psychotherapy Program.  This program, which is in its 22nd year, is where residents participate in their own psychotherapy provided by clinical faculty at a nominal fee ($35.00 session).  The funds collected are then redirected back to the PCFA to fund resident activities.  Another ongoing program is the Distinguished Psychiatrist Seminar, now in its 18th year.  Prior participants were:  James Masterson, Glen Gabbard, Ethel Person, Robert Michels, Otto Kernberg, Robert Naborski, Mardi Horowitz, Lenore Terr, Vamik Volkan, Roy Menninger, Russel Meares, John Gunderson, Anthony Bateman, Margaret Kraft Goin, Richard Green, Peter Kramer, and Allen Francis.  The next speaker on October 17 and 18th, 2014 will be Dr. Salmar Akhtar.  Quite a distinguished list!

Other ways in which we support the education of the residents is in the yearly Hatos Prizes.  These are divided into the Alex Rogawski and 21st Century Prizes.  For the past 18 years we have requested scholarly papers that address either “Psychiatry’s Role in the New Millenium” (21st Century Prize) or areas of interest of Alex Rogawski’s (i.e.., role of preventive efforts in psychiatry, psychodynamic understanding and its application to community psychiatry, the role of psychiatry in primary care, or transcultural issues in psychiatry).  Last years winners were Dr. Elizabeth Nakamura for her paper entitled “Should Psychiatrists Have a Role in the Gun Control Debate?” and Dr. Misty Richards for her paper, "Cross-cultural Comparisons of Attitudes Toward Schizophrenia Amongst the General Population and Physicians in Japan and the United States.”  Dr. Nakamura, who previously attended the PCFA Board and Executive Meetings as chief resident, is now a clinical faculty member.  She has recently volunteered for and been voted onto the PCFA Board and Executive Committee.  As both a recent graduate and an actual member of the millennial generation, the executive community unanimously approved her as the PCFA Awards Coordinator.  She will interface with the residents regarding award opportunities.  These awards will include the Hatos Prizes, and possibly a new award created from the Coffey Funds to support resident leadership and innovation.

The PCFA is continuing the Terzian Book Fund which began in 2003.  This was a fund established in the memory of Sherry Terzian, a faculty member and the first librarian at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.  Using this fund, we provide a book for third year residents at UCLA, Harbor and San Fernando.  This is a way to help the residents add to their personal library.

Dr. Coffey was also involved in establishing the annual PFCA picnic.  June 22, 2014 will be the fifth annual intern picnic.  The picnics are held at the Sunset Recreation Center and provide an opportunity for the clinical faculty to interface with the interns and to welcome them to UCLA. 

The Volunteer Clinical Faculty is dedicated to maintaining the high quality of the UCLA Psychiatric Residency.  Clearly the clinical faculty makes invaluable contributions to the UCLA psychiatry residency culture.  Our mentoring plays an important role in training residents as both compassionate clinicians and competent leaders.  I recall the Oslerian Principal that a “good” doctor treats the disease and a “great” doctor treats the person who has the disease.  Through our vital involvement we help UCLA psychiatry residents realize their full potential as “great” doctors.