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J. Ryan Shackelford, M.D.


Dr. Shackelford earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Denver and his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  During his residency, he served as president of the San Diego House-Staff Association.  After graduating from the combined residency, Ryan completed a public psychiatry fellowship at UC San Francisco where his studies focused on “reverse-integration“, the integration of primary care into public mental health.  Since completion of his formal training he has been working for the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health providing both primary care and psychiatry.  In January 2014 he was promoted to Medical Director of Behavioral Health Home Integration for the department.  In this position he is responsible for improving the medical care of those with serious chronic mental illness through the planning and implementation of four primary care clinics which are co-located within the department’s largest urban underserved specialty mental health clinics. 

“Combined residents generally are self-selecting to be big picture thinkers.  During training I think I felt a bit out of place in the traditional medical education system however I knew I fit in with my combined colleagues and looking back now I can confirm it is an excellent choice.   It’s a training that makes a lot of sense to people in public health and I hear the phrase ‘I should have done that!’ nearly every day from my physician colleagues.” 

“Now, with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act the entire country is trying to figure out how to achieve fully integrated care having seen the benefits of the approach replicated over and over.  We are in a unique time where our skill-set is being discovered and appreciated more.  There are few clinicians that can interface with both behavioral health and primary care like we can and this is being recognized both clinically and administratively.  We are being called to the table to help systems re-integrate the two disciplines, refocus the standard of care to a patient-centered whole-person model and simply elevate the entire standard of community medical care.  I am so grateful for the education and strength I received from the UCSD combined residency program family because it allowed me to go forth and continue the good work that I learned there.”