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Karla Benzl, M.D.

I am a board-certified psychiatrist. I completed my training in adult psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, with a focus in women’s mental health. Prior to this, I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Davis, and my medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. I provide both medication management and psychotherapy, and I tailor my treatment recommendations to meet the individual needs of each person I work with.  I enjoy working with a diverse population of adults, and have extensive experience treating mood and anxiety disorders. I have additional expertise in women’s mental health, and treat peripartum and postpartum mood/anxiety symptoms, as well as premenstrual and perimenopausal mood changes. My professional interests also include mindfulness, integrative psychiatry, and nutritional psychiatry, which are all topics I write about on my blogs (see blog section on this site as well as for mental health and kids/parents).  


Curriculum Vitae 


2012-2015                    University of California, San Francisco                        Residency                    Psychiatry

2011-2012                    University of California, San Francisco                        Internship                    Psychiatry

2007-2011                    New York University School of Medicine                    M.D.                             Medicine

2005-2006                    Scripps College, Claremont, CA                                 Certificate                    Pre-medical Studies

2000-2005                    University of California, Davis                                      B.A.                               Psychology



2015-Present              American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

2012-2015                   Women’s Mental Health Area of Distinction, University of California, San Francisco

2012-Present              Medical License, California, A121990

2012-Present              Drug Enforcement Administration, FB3434026



2015                             Thacher Community Grant, American College of Nurse-Midwives

2007-2011                    Diversity Scholarship, Partial Tuition, NYU School of Medicine

2005                             Cum Laude, University of California, Davis          

2000-2005                    Dean’s List, University of California, Davis           

2000-2004                    Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, University of California, Davis



Psychiatry – Inpatient, outpatient, consult-liaison, integrated care clinic, medication management, emergency psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychotherapy supervision.

Systems – Public/community, private, VA



2018-Present              Private Practice 

2015-2018                   Pacific Coast Psychiatric Associates, San Francisco, CA

2013-2014                   Psychiatric Emergency Services, San Francisco General Hospital, CA



2014-2015                   Outpatient psychotherapy case conference co-leader for time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, 4 

                                     second year residents per group, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.

2014-2015                   Outpatient psychotherapy supervisor for time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, 2 second year residents

                                     per group. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.



2018- Present            Postpartum Support International

2013-Present             American Psychiatric Association

2016-Present             Orange County Psychiatric Association 

2013-2016                  Northern California Psychiatric Society



2008                          Summer Research Fellow Awarded by: Summer Training on Aging Research Topics- Mental Health,  

                                  University of  California, San Diego Location: Center for Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation;

                                  Columbia University School of Medicine; Principal Investigator: Sarah Lisanby, M.D. Project: Magnetic

                                  Seizure Therapy for depression.



2004-2005               Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center-Crisis Line Counselor, Yolo County, CA



2015                      “Needs Assessment for the Development of a Module on Complex Trauma for Inpatient Psychiatry,” UCSF                                 Educational Showcase poster presentation

2015                       “Working with Complex Trauma on Inpatient Psychiatry- An e-Learning Module,” San Francisco General   

                                Hospital Grand Rounds

2014                      “Trauma-Informed Delivery Plans,” San Francisco VA Women’s Clinic Didactic Series

2012                      “This is not the Woman We Know- The Interface between Affective Disturbance and Personality,” San 

                                Francisco General Hospital Case Presentation

2008                       “Magnetic Seizure Therapy for Treatment of Depression,” Summer Training on Aging Research Topics–

                                 Mental Health Conference; San Diego


  1. Rowny, S.B., Benzl, K.S., Lisanby, S.H. Translational Development strategy for Magnetic Seizure Therapy. Experimental Neurology, 2009. 219(1):27-35.


  1. Benzl, K. S., Hasser, C. “Working with Complex Trauma on Inpatient Psychiatry”- An online learning module designed to teach trauma-informed care in the setting of inpatient psychiatry to residents in early training, 2015. www.PTSDLEARNINGMODULE.COM

  2. Benzl, K. “Trauma-Informed Birth Preparations and guidelines for the clinician working with traumatized pregnant patient”- An online learning module designed to train OBs, midwives, and mental health provider, 2015.  www.PTSDLEARNINGMODULE.COM

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