Nichole (Nikki) Goodsmith, MD PhD

Community Psychiatry

Women’s Mental Health

Women Veterans

Serious Mental Illness

UCLA/VA Research Fellow (National Clinicians Scholar Program)

Dr. Nikki Goodsmith is currently a VA-sponsored postdoctoral fellow in the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. She is interested in women’s mental health, trauma, and serious mental illness, and works clinically at the West Los Angeles VA Women’s Health Center. She obtained her BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University before spending three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa. She then completed joint MD-PhD degrees at Cornell University, with doctoral studies focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis. Her interests in public health and the structural and social determinants of health eventually led her from infectious diseases to psychiatry, and from basic science to health services research. She completed adult psychiatry residency in 2019 at UCLA, where she was Chief Resident of Community and Global Psychiatry and helped to create the Community and Global Psychiatry program. She has been recognized for her work with several awards including the American College of Psychiatrists Laughlin Fellowship, the Association of Women Psychiatrists Symonds Foundation Fellowship, the Southern California Psychiatric Education and Research Foundation Excellence in Psychiatric Education Award, and the American Psychiatric Association Public Psychiatry Fellowship.

Dr. Goodsmith is currently leading several research projects focused on women’s mental health, including a qualitative study with the LA County Department of Mental Health looking at how pregnancy and parenting are addressed in the mental health setting, as well as a study examining VA mental health provider training priorities and challenges in meeting the needs of women veterans. In the long-term, she hopes to improve equity and access to high-quality mental health care for vulnerable and historically marginalized populations, and to further our understanding of the unique needs of women with serious mental illness. She has a particular interest in systems-level interventions, implementation science, and qualitative approaches, and in applying a reproductive justice framework to mental health care.


  • Goodsmith N, Ijadi-Maghsoodi R, Melendez RM, Dossett EC. Addressing the Urgent Housing Needs of Vulnerable Women in the Era of COVID-19: The Los Angeles County Experience. Psychiatric Services. In press.

  • Goodsmith N, Cohen AN, Flynn AWP, Hamilton AB, Hellemann G, Nowlin-Finch N, Young AS. Computerized Conjoint Analysis of the Weight Treatment Preferences of Individuals with Schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services. In press.

  • Goodsmith N, Zhang L, Ong MK, Ngo VK, Miranda J, Hirsch S, Jones F, Wells K, Chung B. Implementing a Community-Partnered Research Suicide Risk Management Protocol: Case Study from Community Partners in Care. Psychiatric Services. In press.

  • Arevian A, Jones F, Moore M, Goodsmith N, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Ewing T, Siddiq H, Lester P, Cheung E, Ijadi-Maghsoodi R, Gabrielian S, Sugarman OK, Bonds C, Benitez C, Innes-Gomberg D, Springgate B, Haywood C, Meyers D, Wells K. Mental Health Community and Health System Issues in COVID-19: Lessons from Academic, Community, Provider and Policy Stakeholders. Ethnicity and Disease. In press.


  • Early career mentorship and support: I’m happy to meet with residents to discuss approaches to getting involved in research in residency, particularly for those considering the possibility of a career in health services research and/or women’s mental health.

  • Research mentorship: While I don’t currently have research elective opportunities that would be appropriate for a resident, I likely will in the future, or I may be able to connect you to a mentor who would be a good fit.