UCSF-CMC Partnership in Child Psychiatry Training making a positive impact for children in India

By Nicholas Roznovsky

Tsherlingla (left) and Ferren at the Christian Medical College’s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Unit

Tsherlingla (left) and Ferren at the Christian Medical College’s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Unit  |  Photo courtesy of Peter Ferren

Last month, UCSF Professor of Psychiatry Peter M. Ferren, MD, MPH, made his eighth visit since 2007 to Vellore, India, where he serves as a volunteer clinical faculty member in the Christian Medical College (CMC)'s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Unit.

At CMC, Dr. Ferren teaches as an ambassador of child psychiatry, sharing knowledge and skills with colleagues in an established child mental health service. In addition to treating emotional disorders in childhood, the CMC Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Unit has a notable program in treating autism, intellectual disability, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

During Ferren’s visit, he visited with CMC Assistant Professor Sherab Tsheringla, MBBS, DPH, MD, who spent six weeks at UCSF last year as a credentialed physician observer under Ferren’s mentorship. Tsheringla showed him the mental health education and consultation service he established at Vellore's Vedavalli Vidyalaya School, based on programs implemented in San Francisco schools by UCSF faculty at Zuckerberg San Francisco General. He also demonstrated how his visit to UCSF enhanced his knowledge and skills in evaluating and treating children exposed to severe emotional trauma (particularly sexual abuse), resulting in the development of protocols for evaluating and treating the psychiatric sequelae of child victims of sexual abuse in cultural context at CMC.

Tsheringla’s 2015 visit was supported in part by the UCSF-CMC Partnership in Child Psychiatry Training, which was established by Ferren in 2011 with donor assistance to support the new child psychiatry training program at CMC, the first of its kind to be officially and nationally recognized in India. In 2013, Associate Professor Elida Bautista, PhD, became the first UCSF Psychiatry faculty member to travel to CMC under this program.

Faculty, residents, and students who are interested in Ferren’s work and affiliation with CMC and would like more information about the UCSF-CMC Partnership in Child Psychiatry Training are encouraged to contact him at [email protected].

Ferren and Tsherlingla meeting with personnel at the Vedavalli Vidyalaya School in Vellore

Ferren and Tsherlingla meeting with personnel at the Vedavalli Vidyalaya School in Vellore  |  Photo courtesy of Peter Ferren


About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care, and public service. UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational, and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Laurel Heights, the UCSF Medical Center at Mt. Zion, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System, and UCSF Fresno.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational, and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.