Brandon Yarns

Brandon Yarns, MD


Dr. Brandon Yarns (VA Scholar) is completing a clinical fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed residency at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where he was chief resident in 2014-15. He was also awarded the Resident Research Award for outstanding contributions to psychiatric research throughout residency. Dr. Yarns obtained his undergraduate degree in music (clarinet performance) from Arizona State University where he was a National Merit Scholar. He earned his medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine, where he was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. He developed a weekly program including a video and other resources to reduce preoperative anxiety in children and their families. Dr. Yarns was awarded first place in the Early Investigator Poster Contest by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2015 for his work entitled, “Decreased connectivity between the default mode network and right hippocampus correlates with ECT neurocognitive effects: An fMRI study.” Additionally, he currently the 2015-16 Member-in-Training Board Member for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Career Interests: Using health services research methodology, Dr. Yarns would like to investigate how individuals’ (and particularly older adults’) problems with experiencing and expressing feelings affect psychiatric nosology-classification, patient experiences of therapeutic interactions, prevention of psychiatric disorders, patient interfaces with health care, health outcomes, and health care systems.

Research Interests: Dr. Yarns is interested prevention of psychiatric illness in older adults, patient centered outcomes in geriatric psychiatry, and using psychotherapy to improve health outcomes. As a Scholar, he plans to understand how novel interventions addressing conflicted emotions in older adults will predict a decrease in incident psychiatric illness and cognitive impairment, improved health behaviors and outcomes, reduced burden on health care systems, and cost-effectiveness.

Dr. Brandon C. Yarns is Staff Psychiatrist in the Geriatric Mental Health Section at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) and Health Sciences Clinical Instructor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Yarns’s current position includes 50% research time, which is devoted to questions related to the intersection of emotions, physical and mental health, and aging. Specifically, at this time Dr. Yarns is conducting a randomized comparison trial of two types of psychotherapy for older adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain and is refining a mixed-methods technique for assessing feelings in spontaneous speech, which may have applications as a research and clinical tool. Dr. Yarns is also an attending psychiatrist in the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Program at VAGLAHS.
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