I've devoted my career to helping people heal and helping healers become more empathic. I'm passionate about training medical clinicians, who work with the most vulnerable and underserved patient populations.
I have many years of experience in a private practice of psychiatry and psychotherapy. I am an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology certified psychiatrist, and am certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Addiction Medicine.
My UCLA BA was in political science & feminist studies. I attended the UC Davis School of Medicine & completed an internal medicine internship at Mt. Zion-UCSF, followed by a UCSF psychiatry residency. More recently, I completed a 2 year integrative medicine fellowship and am also on their faculty through the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine.
I have been a senior faculty member, and the Behavioral and Addiction Medicine Director, for a UCSF-affiliated internal medicine residency in a safety-net hospital that served highly diverse patients. There I supervised residents and taught patient-physician communication skills, such as empathy and cross-cultural sensitivity, and behavioral health. Additionally I've been a long time trainer in a health communication approach that is based on empathy and respect for autonomy and have had the privilege of teaching hundreds of clinicians from many institutions. I also founded and directed the nation's first premedical student health coach project, where I paired students with primary care docs and had them help low-income patients to improve their health. I've spent many years volunteering at the California Society of Addiction Medicine, where I serve on their Board and am currently their president-elect.
I am the founder of:
Abramowitz Healthy Communicating.com
Award for exceptional psychotherapeutic skills and unusual concern for the welfare of patients
Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, UCSF
Humanist Medicine Award
Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine,
Alameda Health Center
I've given grand rounds at Stanford University, Alameda Health Center, Kaiser-Permanente and elsewhere. I've spoken on various topics, including: health coaching; mindfulness; self management support; treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcoholism, cannabis and prescription drug abuse; motivational interviewing & stages of change.
Publications & Talks
Managing Anxiety & Depression During Challenging Times
Hiding in Plain Sight: Psychotherapeutics of Trauma & Addiction
Integrative Addiction Medicine: What is it? What is the Evidence?
Integrating Empathy in Hospitalist Medicine
Behavioral Health and Patient Engagement in Chronic Pain Primary Care Treatment
Training on Substance Use Disorders
Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change,
Self Management Support: Helping Patients Help Themselves
I've also led numerous workshops related to integrative health, addiction, and diversity issues within healthcare.
Mindfulness. chapter in: ASAM, editor. Chronic Pain and Addiction. Oxford University Press: to be published 2018.
Integrative Addiction Medicine: What Exactly Is It? San Francisco Medicine: Addiction Medicine 2015 July/August
with Bodenheimer T. Helping Patients Help Themselves: How to Implement Self-Management Support, California Healthcare Foundation, 2010. .
with Flattery D, Franses K, Berry L. Linking a motivational interviewing curriculum to the chronic care model. J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Sep;25 Suppl 4:S620-6.
with Cohen, J.
Psychodynamics of AIDS: A View from Self Psychology. chapter in Therapists on the Front Line, 1994.