UCSF ranked among top five in the nation and best in the West for adult psychiatric care

By Nicholas Roznovsky and Elizabeth Fernandez

Pritzker Building

Earlier this year, the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences moved into its new home in the UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building, marking the culmination of a long-standing vision to bring together physical and mental health at UCSF and eliminate the boundaries that have isolated psychiatry from other disciplines that advance brain health and treat brain disorders.

For the eighth year in a row, UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences have been recognized as one of the nation's leading centers for adult psychiatric care in U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Hospitals survey. UCSF Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences moved up one spot from last year's rankings and into the national top 5 for the first time, cementing its position as the top hospital for mental health research and treatment in the western United States.

U.S. News’ 2022-2023 rankings were calculated based on ratings provided by psychiatric specialists from across the country over the past three years. This year's rankings were drawn from evaluations of 4,515 medical centers across the country. UCSF has been included in the psychiatric specialty's top group of ranked hospitals each year since 2015.

“Over the past few years, we have transformed our department to increase access, advance research, train the next generation of leaders, and redoubled our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging,” said Matthew State, MD, PhD, Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 

“At the same time, we have further strengthened the remarkable collaborations we have with the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and the entire UCSF neuroscience community. I could not be prouder of our department and the dedicated people in it who work tirelessly each day to tackle some of our toughest health challenges here in the Bay Area and across the globe.”

UCSF Medical Center highly ranked across 14 specialties

In this year’s results, which were released July 26, 2022, UCSF ranked 12th on the national Best Hospitals Honor Roll, a distinction earned by 20 medical centers nationwide that deliver the highest quality care in numerous specialties, procedures,  and conditions. It was among the nation’s leading medical centers in all 14 adult specialties for which it was assessed, the only northern California hospital to achieve that status.

“Patients rely on us to provide world-class care when they have complex medical needs,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health. “We are honored to be recognized for the superb and compassionate care our teams provide every day for patients with the greatest medical challenges, including the most vulnerable members of our community.”

In addition to psychiatry, UCSF Medical Center ranked among the top 10 centers nationwide in seven other specialty areas: neurology and neurosurgery (2nd); diabetes and endocrinology (6th); ear, nose and throat (tied for 6th); rheumatology (8th); geriatrics (9th), ophthalmology (9th); and pulmonology (9th). Regionally, UCSF Medical Center was the top-ranked hospital in the San Francisco Metro Area and the best hospital in northern California in nine of the 14 specialties, including a tie for cancer care.

UCSF was also recognized as “high performing” – the highest rating – in 16 procedures and conditions, ranging from aneurysm repair and stroke care to spinal, cardiac, and cancer surgery.

“UCSF has a legacy of innovation, excellence in translating science into innovative care, and a longstanding commitment to our local and global community,” said Sam Hawgood, MBBS, chancellor of UC San Francisco. “These rankings reflect that spirit, which is embodied in the dedication of our clinical teams, researchers, and staff.”

About U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital rankings

U.S. News & World Report's hospital rankings, which began in 1990, are designed to enable patients and their physicians to make informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions and common elective procedures. The specialty rankings assess hospital performance in highly complex areas of inpatient care and aim to identify medical centers that treat patients whose conditions are the most serious or challenging, due to underlying conditions, procedure difficulty, advanced age, or other medical issues.

The 11 hospitals ranked in adult psychiatry this year were named among the best for difficult cases and procedures by at least 5 percent of the psychiatric specialists who responded to U.S. News surveys in 2020, 2021, and 2022. U.S. News does not currently issue rankings for child and adolescent psychiatry.

Complete rankings are available on the U.S. News & World Report website and will be published in the magazine’s “Best Hospitals 2023” guidebook later this fall.

About UCSF Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 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 and Behavioral Sciences conducts its clinical, educational, and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including the UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry BuildingUCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital; UCSF Medical Centers at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion; UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center; the San Francisco VA Health Care System; UCSF Fresno; and numerous community-based sites around the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurology, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area.