About Ralph Saintfort, MD
Ralph Saintfort, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist and the medical director of Moores Cancer Center's Psychiatry and Psychological Services. Dr. Saintfort treats people who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, insomnia, adjustment difficulties, grief, or other psychiatric symptoms that are either the cause of the cancer experience or interfering with cancer treatment, or illness burden in cancer survivorship. He provides psychiatric assessments, treatment, medication management, behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy.
Dr. Saintfort is part of the UC San Diego Health's Consultation Liaison Psychiatry service team. He provides psychiatric consultations in the general hospital setting to a large staff of attending physicians in various specialties, including general medicine, surgery, transplant services, and oncology, taking care of the psychiatric problems of medically and surgically ill patients, and oncology patients.
Dr. Saintfort's approach to care is very patient-centered. He finds it rewarding to be present and active in the care of patients and accompanying them on the other side of their illness towards wellness and a meaningful and purposeful life.
Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Dr. Saintfort served as executive medical director of Medical Psychiatry Services, LLC in Illinois, worked as visiting professor of psychiatry at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic, and was a staff psychiatrist at UnityPoint Health and Clive Behavioral Health in Iowa, providing training/teaching and supervision to medical students, residents, and nurse practitioners. He has a passion for teaching medical students and residents and working collaboratively with other colleagues. In his professional career, Dr. Saintfort has taken his teaching, volunteering, and leadership experiences to his native land to contribute to mental health capacity building. Over many years of collaboration, Dr. Saintfort has contributed to various projects intended to sustain mental services for various communities in North and Central Haiti, including chairing and co-chairing related mental health summits on mapping mental health programs in Haiti, and culturally competent solutions across the lifespan of the Haitian diaspora. These projects included clinical and public mental health training projects, and partnership with local teaching faculty on capacity building to serve local community needs for mental health services.
Dr. Saintfort has published in various publications, including Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Psychiatry, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Current Psychiatry Reports, and has co-authored a textbook chapter in Office Practice of Medicine, 4th Edition related to anxiety disorders. Dr. Saintfort has received several awards including Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Resident of the Year (1999), Models of Excellence at Trinity Medical Center, and the Ele Award for medical commitment and exemplary service to the Quad-City community in Moline, Ill. Dr. Saintfort has presented nationally and internationally on a wide range of subjects associated with mental illness at the interphase of medicine.
Dr. Saintfort completed fellowship training in medical psychiatry at the Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. He completed a residency in psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program/Harvard Medical School and served as chief resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital outpatient psychiatry clinic. Dr. Saintfort earned his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, District of Columbia. Dr. Saintfort is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also a member of the Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry.
In his free time, Dr. Saintfort enjoys foreign films, tennis, soccer, fishing, bicycling, hiking, poetry writing and photography. He is passionate about French Provençiale cuisine. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dr. Saintfort immigrated to the United States at age 13. He is fluent in English, French and Haitian Creole.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Behavioral and Mental Health.
- The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Washington, DC
- Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
- Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
- Haitian Creole
Date Joined Staff
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Conditions and Treatments
- Mental Health in Cancer Patients
- Adjustment to Cancer
- Mental Health in Complex Medically Ill Patients