Brenda Bursch, PhD
Director, Pediatric Psychology Consultation Liaison Service
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Bursch received her PhD from Claremont Graduate School in 1990. She is a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she has been on faculty since 1994. She is the Director of the Pediatric Psychology Consultation Liaison service, overseeing child psychology consultations for pediatric medical inpatients. Dr. Bursch is a social and medical psychologist with clinical and research interests in pediatric pain, palliative care, somatization, and illness falsification. She has presented lectures at professional conferences within the United States and abroad, and has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters. She is the co-author of a book entitled “How Many More Questions?” Techniques for Clinical Interviews of Young Medically Ill Children. With colleagues, Dr. Bursch has authored national guidelines on both Munchausen by Proxy and Pediatric Chronic Pain, and served as an advisor for the DMS-5 somatic symptom disorders. She serves as a consultant in many settings, including for the Los Angeles County Juvenile Mental Health Court, Los Angeles Lakers, South Bay Lakers, and Lionsgate. She currently serves as Chair of the Resnick Psychiatric Hospital Ethics Committee.
- 1984 University of the Pacific, Psychology and Interpersonal Communication, B.A.
- 1986 Claremont Graduate School, Applied Social Psychology & Health Behavior Research, M.A.
- 1990 Claremont Graduate School, Applied Social Psychology & Health Behavior Research, Ph.D.
- 1993 California School of Professional Psychology, Respecialization in Clinical Psychology
Research & clinical interests
- High utilizers of medical services; Palliative care; Somatization, Functional symptom disorders and Illness falsification
- Systems issues (organizational dynamics; patient-family-staff communication; mental wellness and resilience for health care workers; biopsychosocial model)
Roles within the division/Fellowship
- Director, Pediatric Psychology Consultation-Liaison Service
- Director, Pediatric Psychology Outpatient Subspecialty Pediatrics Program
- Consultant (Los Angeles County Juvenile Mental Health Court; Los Angeles Lakers; South Bay Lakers; Lionsgate)
- Child Psychiatry Training Advisory & Program Evaluation Committees
- Psychology Training Committee
- Chair, Quality Assurance Subcommittee for Psychologists
- Chair, Resnick-Neuropsychiatric Hospital Ethics Committee
- UCLA Health Committees:
- COVID-19 Wellness and Mental Health Work Group
- LGBTQ Equitable Care Committee, Training and Education Work Group
- Suicide Risk Initiative: Patient Care Taskforce
- Teen/AYA Teen Cancer America Program Development Committee
- Westwood Schwartz Rounds Planning Committee
- Patient Family Centered Care Committee, Mattel Children’s Hospital
- Lectures and provides workshops on topics related to medically ill children, illness falsification, clinician well-being, ethics and organizational psychology