Kauser Ahmed, PhD
I am a clinical psychologist and have been privileged to be a part of the Simms/Mann Center team since 2002 – serving as a psychologist, the Associate Director/Training Director and, since July 2018, the Director of the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and the Darcie Denkert Notkin Director of Psychosocial Oncology Care. I am responsible for the oversight of psycho social clinical care of patients and families touched by cancer in Westwood/Santa Monica and throughout UCLA Health’s growing hematology/oncology community practices across the greater Los Angeles area. Along with the Center’s dedicated multidisciplinary team, it is my mission to ensure that patients and their loved ones have access to whole person care that is truly integrative and meets their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs through the many challenges of cancer. As a clinician I use evidenced-based approaches to help patients develop the tools they need to cope effectively including: cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychoeducation, and mindfulness. All of the clinicians at the Center strive to first understand the unique experiences of each of our patients and then tailor our work together to help them meet their specific goals for wellbeing.
During my career, I have helped to establish the psychosocial assessment and treatment protocols for many of the oncology clinics at UCLA, and have been a part of creating award winning interdepartmental psychoeducational programs that help pre-surgical patients, adult and AYA survivors and minor children of parents with cancer. As the Training Director at the Simms Mann Center at UCLA, I believe that it is our responsibility to train the next generation of professionals dedicated to the integration of medicine and psychology in the care of patient with cancer. I am privileged to have supervised the teaching and training of over 100 pre and post-doctoral clinical psychology students, MSW oncology students and chaplaincy interns, many of whom now working in multidisciplinary fields across the nation as clinicians and researchers in psychosocial oncology, improving the quality of life of people touched by cancer.
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
I attended Brown University and received my B.A. in Comparative Literature in 1989. I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver in 2001. I completed my clinical internship and fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital in the pediatric hematology/oncology unit. I joined the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology as a Clinical Psychologist in October, 2002.
In September, 2015 I was recruited by UCSD to fulfill the position of Director of Patient and Family Support Services at the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center where I was instrumental in developing a patient navigation plan for oncology patients. I was re-recruited to the Simms/Mann Center in 2017 to assume the position of Associate Director.
In February 2017 I was honored to receive the “Outstanding Clinical Care Award” by the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS).
PERSONAL INTERESTS AND PERSPECTIVES
I have been a proud Bruin ever since I completed my predoctoral clinical internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital in 2001 and I love exploring my adopted city of Los Angeles with my husband and our active Husky. I am profoundly grateful to be in a role where, every day, I learn from my patients, students and staff.