Forensic Background and Experience
Dr. Ernst completed his doctorate in psychology at the Wright Institute where he received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for his thesis Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: An Integrated Model of Treatment Planning. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Napa State Hospital, an American Psychological Association approved inpatient clinical training program. Subsequently, Dr. Ernst choose to complete an additional year of fellowship training in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Hospital.
For over five years, Dr. Ernst was an inpatient forensic psychologist at Napa State Hospital. There, he gained extensive experience conducting complex diagnostic and forensic evaluations. Dr. Ernst routinely provided written reports and expert testimony to the courts regarding patient’s violence risk and adjudicative competency.
Shortly after completing his fellowship at the San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, Dr. Ernst became a Veterans Affairs contract staff psychologist. In this position, Dr. Ernst conducted over one hundred forensic evaluations on veterans alleging psychiatric disability from military trauma. In 2012, he was appointed as a member of the volunteer clinical faculty in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Ernst was certified as a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) by the State of California in 2011. As a QME, Dr. Ernst routinely conducts employment evaluations in contested worker’s compensation cases. He is a member of the forensic evaluator panels for the Superior Courts of Alameda and Contra Costa County. In addition to his forensic and clinical practice, Dr. Ernst provides invited presentations for organizations including the San Francisco Bar Association, UCSF, and the First District Court of Appeals.