Dr. Kenneth N. Sokolski obtained his medical degree and residency in psychiatry from The University of California, Irvine in 1991 where he received honors in research and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He received Board Certification from The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in April 1993.
Dr. Sokolski has published 35 scientific research papers in the field of psychopharmacology, neuropharmacology, and general psychiatry and has been included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Medicine since 2011. In addition to research awards in residency, he also received research honors through his work at the V.A. where he completed studies on the neuropharmacology of retinal chemistry in mood disorders.
Dr. Sokolski attended Occidental College as a undergraduate where he graduated in Biology with honors and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa as a junior as well as being the valedictorian of his graduating class. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Marshall Fellowship to study in environmental biology in England and a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Scholarship to study fisheries in Japan.
He has a masters degree in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California awarded in 1982. Upon graduation from psychiatric residency in 1991, Dr. Sokolski embarked on a 30 year long career working full time, and later part time with Vietnam Combat Veterans at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Long Beach, California.
In 2009, He was awarded the National Physician of the year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for his work in treating homeless veterans and assisting them with their disability claims.
He retired from the V.A. in June 2016. Between 2002 and 2013, he served as the medical director of a clinical trials site and was the principal investigator on over one hundred clinical studies with a number being awarded FDA approval including medicines commonly used in neuro-psychiatric practice today such as topiramate (topamax), vortioxetine (trintellix), lurasidone (latuda), and cariprazine (vraylar).
He has also worked as an attending psychiatrist in private psychiatric hospitals such as Huntington Beach Hospital and in Board and Care facilities for the Developmentally Disabled.
In addition to these activities, he has been a speaker for physicians groups throughout California and Hawaii providing expertise on the psychopharmacology of numerous pharmaceutical agents used in psychiatric practice. Dr. Sokolski’s private practice work began in about 2000 at which time he was treating patients on a part time basis and this has grown to a full time endeavor over the past ten years.
Dr. Sokolski is currently the course leader and coordinator for the course in psychopharmacology for the third year psychiatry residents at U.C. Irvine and is considered among the most knowledgeable and experienced clinical psychiatrists in the southern California area where he is often called upon by other physicians to consult on difficult patients. He is currently professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine where he has been on the faculty in the school of medicine for the past twenty-five years.
Dr. Sokolski’s main areas of expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders (Unipolar and bipolar illness), anxiety disorders (panic disorders, phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders), Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, and Attention Deficit Disorders.
His current areas of research include the pathophysiology and treatment of combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the etiology and treatment of autism, and the clinical effectiveness of mood stabilizers in bipolar disorder. Dr. Sokolski enjoys hiking, jogging, traveling, sports, attending the opera, and reading.
Maria Lopez brings 14 years experience in the field of office and group benefits administration. She joined Newport Center for Behavioral Medicine in January 2012. Since then she has become an expert in working with insurance companies, pharmacies, and organizing the office to the benefit of all of the patients who obtain services here.
Maria is a cheerful and steady presence who makes certain that all of the numerous patient requests are answered in a timely manner. She is the one who has so successfully obtained hundreds of Prior Authorizations so that patients can afford their medications. Maria is a brilliant addition to the office.
She is a gem whose skills allow the office to function efficiently and provide patients a level of service which is unmatched in the area. We are very grateful to have Maria as a member of our team. Maria enjoys reading, sports, traveling, and spending time with her family.