Katherine E. Watkins

Katherine E. Watkins

Senior Physician Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Katherine Watkins (she/her) is a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, and a board-certified practicing psychiatrist, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She uniquely combines a research background in substance abuse and mental health treatment services with a clinical background in treatment for substance use and co-occurring disorders, and she has focused on training substance abuse providers to deliver evidence-based mental health services to individuals with drug and alcohol problems, and primary care providers to deliver treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders. She is particularly interested in increasing access to treatment for vulnerable populations and in improving care for individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse. 

Dr. Watkins received her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she obtained her master's degree in health services.


M.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; M.S.H.S., UCLA School of Public Health

Selected Work

  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "Association Between Quality Measures and Mortality in Individuals With Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 69, 2016
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "The Affordable Care Act: An opportunity for improving care for substance use disorders?" Psychiatric Services, 66(3), 2015
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "The cost-effectiveness of depression treatment for co-occurring disorders: A clinical trial," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(2), 2014
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "An effectiveness trial of group cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with persistent depressive symptoms in substance abuse treatment.," Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(6), 2011
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "Care for veterans with mental and substance use disorders: Good performance, but room to improve on many measures," Health Affairs, 30(11), 2011
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "Developing medical record-based performance indicators to measure the quality of mental health care.," Journal for Healthcare Quality, 33(1), 2011
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "The health value and cost of care for major depression.," Value in Health, 12(1), 2009
  • Watkins, K. E., et al., "Improving Care for Depression in Patients with Comorbid Substance Misuse," American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(1), 2006

Authored by Katherine E. Watkins

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