Kristen Choi

Dr. Kristen Choi, PhD, MS, RN, is a child/adolescent psychiatric nurse and health services researcher. Dr. Choi studies health services and policy approaches to mental health, trauma, and violence among children, adolescents, and other vulnerable populations. Her current research projects include studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder, adverse childhood experiences, the impact of trauma and violence on nurses, and health system factors associated with firearm violence. Dr. Choi is studying implementation of California’s autism insurance mandate, its impact on access to therapy services, and patient-centered outcomes for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Southern California. She is also studying interpersonal violence experiences in childhood and how they affect mental and physical health across the life course. She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing, an Adjunct Investigator in the Department of Research & Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and an Associate Director of Nursing for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. As both a clinician and a scientist, Dr. Choi maintains a clinical practice as a registered nurse (RN) at a safety net psychiatric hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. She addresses child behavioral health from individual, family, system, and policy levels in her research and is committed to improving the mental and physical health of children and communities.


  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program, Los Angeles, CA
  • PhD, Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • MS, Health Policy and Management, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • BS, Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Areas of Interest

  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Child abuse
  • Toxic and traumatic stress
  • Trauma-informed healthcare
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Nursing
  • Health services research
  • Health policy

Selected Publications