Charles C. Engel

Photo of Charles Engel
Adjunct Physician Policy Researcher
Off Site Office


M.P.H. in epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health; M.D. in medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; B.S. in biology, University of Washington

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Dr. Charles Engel (he/him) is an adjunct physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington, and core VA HSR&D investigator and codirector of the Seattle VA's advanced health services research fellowship. Engel's work focuses on trauma-informed health systems and strategies for improving the quality of primary care for chronic mental and physical health conditions. His research has covered traumatic injury and post-trauma syndromes ranging from blast injury, mild traumatic brain injury, PTSD, to Gulf War syndrome. Engel is experienced at mixed qualitative and quantitative methods and has led large pragmatic randomized trials, program evaluations, and implementation science studies. He has authored or coauthored nearly 200 scholarly papers, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. Funding for his work has come from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and other agencies. Before joining RAND in 2013, Engel was associate chair (research) at Uniformed Services University's Department of Psychiatry. Engel has served on the board of directors of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and on the American Psychiatric Association Council on Quality Care. He has testified twice before Congress, received many awards, and delivered numerous invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad. Engel received his M.P.H. from the University of Washington School of Public Health and his M.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine; Core Investigator, Seattle HSR&D Center of Innovation (COIN) for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care; Codirector, Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research, HSR&D, VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Recent Projects

  • A Randomized Effectiveness Trial of a Systems-level Approach to Stepped Care for War-Related PTSD
  • Evaluation of Military Behavioral Health in the Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative
  • 2018 Department of Defense Health-Related Behaviors Survey of Active and Reserve Personnel
  • California Statewide ACEs Learning Collaborative: Supporting Implementation of Screening for Childhood Trauma
  • Comparative Effectiveness PTSD Trial of Sequenced Pharmacotherapy and Psychotherapy in Primary Care

Selected Publications

Engel CC, Jaycox LH, Freed MC, Bray RM, Brambilla D, Zatzick D, Litz B, Tanielian T, Novak LA, Lane ME, Belsher BE, Olmsted KL, Evatt DP, Vandermaas-Peeler R, Unützer J, Katon WJ, "Centrally Assisted Collaborative Telecare for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Among Military Personnel Attending Primary Care: A Randomized Clinical Trial," JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(7), 2016

Bray RM, Engel CC, Williams J, Jaycox JH, Lane ME, Morgan JK, Unützer J, "Military-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Primary Care Trajectories and Predictors of One-year Prognosis," Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29(4), 2016

Ramchand R, Ayer L, Kotzias V, Engel C, Predmore Z, Ebener P, Kemp JE, Karras E, Haas G., "Suicide Risk among Women Veterans in Distress: Perspectives of Responders on the Veterans Crisis Line," Women's Health Issues, 26(6), 2016

Engel CC, Litz B, Magruder KM, Harper E, Gore K, Stein N, Yeager D, Liu X, Coe TR, "Delivery of Self Training and Education for Stressful Situations (DESTRESS-PC): A Randomized Trial of Nurse Assisted Online Self-Management for PTSD in Primary Care," General Hospital Psychiatry, 37(4), 2015

Meadows SO, Engel CC, Collins RL, Beckman RL, Breslau J, Litvin Bloom E, Dunbar MS, Gilbert M, Grant D, Hawes-Dawson J, Brooks Holliday S, MacCarthy S, Pedersen ER, Robbins MW, Rose AJ, Ryan J, Schell TL, Simmons MM. , 2018 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS): Results for the Active Component, RAND Corporation (RR-4222), 2021

Engel CC, Bray RM, Jaycox LH, Freed MC, Zatzick D, Lane ME, Brambilla D, Rae Olmsted K, Vandermaas-Peeler R, Litz B, Tanielian T, Belsher BE, Evatt DP, Novak LA, Unützer J, Katon WJ, "Implementing collaborative primary care for depression and posttraumatic stress disorder: Design and sample for a randomized trial in the U.S. military health system," Contemporary Clinical Trials, 39(2), 2014

Engel CC, Cordova EH, Benedek DM, Liu X, Gore KL, Goertz C, Freed MC, Crawford C, Jonas WB, Ursano RJ, "Randomized Effectiveness Trial of a Brief Course of Acupuncture for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder," Medical Care, 52, 2014

Engel CC, "Suicide, mental disorders, and the US military: time to focus on mental health service delivery," JAMA, 310(5), 2013


  • A physical therapist greeting a patient in a hospital rehab gym

    Military Turns to Collaborative Care to Treat PTSD, Depression

    Collaborative care has been an important part of Army efforts to reach out to those struggling with PTSD and depression. It has brought a science-based solution to an essential military problem and has helped thousands of men and women in uniform in ways that also nudge the larger mental health system toward greater effectiveness for all Americans.

    Nov 19, 2014 Psychiatric News

  • Two U.S. soldiers with sunglasses

    Compromised Confidentiality in the Military Is Harmful

    Mental health stigma exists across American society, but the problem in the military is fundamentally different. It boils down to the jarring and institutionalized military failure to place adequate boundaries between the workplace and the therapist's office.

    Oct 27, 2014 Psychiatric Times

  • Distressed soldier with counselor

    Military and Veteran Mental Health: Why Should Psychiatrists Care?

    What's happening in the mental health world of the U.S. military and veterans is of great interest to all American psychiatrists. The local impact of recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan runs much deeper than just the number of veterans in a particular practice or community.

    Aug 6, 2014 Psychiatric Times