Joshua Pretsky's Presentation of the 2017 Melvin Mandel Award

It is now my pleasure to present the 2017 Melvin Mandel Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Stephen Marmer first conferred this award on its namesake--Dr. Mel Mandel--at the PCFA annual meeting in October of 2011. Dr. Mandel first joined the clinical faculty at UCLA in 1952 and was the founding president of the PCFA in 1979, serving on our board for more than 3 decades. This award was created to express our gratitude to him, and to others who have distinguished themselves by their enduring and outstanding leadership, initiative and responsibility to the PCFA and our professional community.

I am delighted to be presenting this year’s distinguished service award to Dr. Richard Metzner.

Dick completed his psychiatry residency at Stanford University Medical Center in 1971 after receiving his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1967.

His early interest in media technology led him to start producing educational videos during his residency at Stanford and for the next two years at NIMH. After joining our department at UCLA in 1973 he created and directed the Audiovisual Education Project at the Brentwood VA, where he recorded hundreds of hours of clinical interviews. This he funded by a more than one million dollar grant from the Veterans Administration Central Office in Washington, DC.

At the conclusion of the project, Dick began devoting himself to the voluntary clinical faculty and to full-time private practice, but his interest in technology continued. He formed the Western Institute of Psychiatry, which generated one of the earliest computer-based systems for psychiatric clinical practice. He then formed Scaled Psychiatric Systems to produce an iPad app that helps prescribers select antidepressant medications based on his research into subtyping depression into deactivating and demodulating subtypes. Peter Kramer, in his latest book on antidepressant effectiveness, noted that study patients treated according to Dick’s method achieved a remission rate at six weeks that was about twice the benefit obtained with Celexa alone in the first phase of the STAR* D study. Dick has been invited to lecture across the globe on these clinical contributions and, through lectures, publications and his website “”, he continues to teach that careful attention to individual differences between patients is the essence of both quality psychotherapy and effective psychopharmacology.

At UCLA Dick has served on over 20 committees over 40 years. Notable examples are the VA education and curriculum committees, the NPI strategic planning project, VCFAAAC, and a blue ribbon committee on clinical faculty issues. Did I mention that he was a resident process group leader?  And in 2007 a UCLA chair of clinical neuro-pharmacology was endowed in his honor.

Dick joined the PCFA board in 1996 and has served on the board and the executive committee for the past 21 years. He was president of the board from 2001-2002.

It is fair to say that Dick has quite possibly given more man hours to PCFA than anyone else ever involved in our organization. Among his notable achievements he created the PCFA website and edited our first digital newsletter.  He served for many years as the webmaster, maintaining, updating and enhancing the website. He created the digital psychopathology library from the recordings he made at the VA in the 1970s and that library has now been used to teach psychotherapy principles and technique and to demonstrate psychopathology to residents in their didactic curriculum. He created the video supervision project as part of the PCFA technology in education initiative that he founded. Through experimentation, Dick has discovered ever more simple and non-intrusive ways for residents to record sessions in their small offices at NPI and to use the video productively in supervision. Residents who are using video supervision in this way report enhanced supervision learning. He conceived the 21st Century Prize and suggested combining it with the Rogawsky Prize to create the more valuable Hatos Awards. He served for many years on the Board of the Hatos Foundation to further the interests of the department.

Dick was one of the only two PCFA members awarded a career achievement award, primarily for his service to PCFA. As one of the most active members of the PCFA Board of Directors and Executive Committee he tells me he has taken just as much pleasure working with all of us as we have taken in working with him.

And so, it is with great pleasure that I call up Dr. Richard Metzner to receive this year's Melvin Mandel Distinguished Service award.

Dick, the growth of PCFA over the past number of years has been attributable in large part to your initiative and committed efforts. You are a vital, energetic, creative and optimistic person and your spirit of possibility has shaped our organizational culture and our vision for what we can do.  You are a true entrepreneur, visioning new opportunities and possibilities and backing up your dreams with the commitment of time and personal resources. PCFA and UCLA psychiatry is so fortunate to have benefited from your investment in us.

This quote by buddhist philosopher and peace activist Daisaku Ikeda really captures  how I think about you: “Youthfulness is not determined by age. It is determined by one's life force. One who possesses hope is forever young. One who continually advances is forever beautiful.” To me you are forever young and beautiful.