Amy Barnhorst, M.D. for UC Davis Health

Amy Barnhorst, M.D.

Vice Chair of Community Mental Health

Director, BulletPoints Project

Associate Clinical Professor

To see if Amy Barnhorst is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Locations and Contact

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Behavioral Health Center
2230 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

I believe in helping people with serious mental illness recover to the best of their abilities in the least restrictive environment possible.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Barnhorst is an inpatient and emergency psychiatrist who provides care to patients with serious mental illness in the emergency department, the county jail, and an inpatient psychiatric setting.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Barnhorst is the Vice Chair for Community Mental Health at the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry, an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and the Director of the BulletPoints Project, a state-funded effort to develop a firearm violence prevention curriculum for healthcare providers. In her clinical work, she treats patients with serious mental illness in serious mental illness in the Emergency Department, the county jail, a crisis unit and a 50-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital. She’s a nationally recognized expert on firearms law and mental illness, and her academic work focuses on the interface between firearms, violence, suicide and the mental health system. She has testified before the California and Alaska Senates on these issues, and writes about them for the New York Times, Slate, and her blog at Psychology Today.


Emergency Medicine

Center/Program Affiliation

Violence Prevention Research Program

Undergraduate School

B.A., Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 1995

Medical School

M.D., UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento CA 2006


Psychiatry, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2006-2007


Psychiatry, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2007-2010

Recipeint, Horwitz Public Health Award Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 2019 for advocacy and efforts to create evidence-based firearm policy, 2019

Honored Participant, Resident Education Track UC Davis School of Medicine for residents focused on medical education during residency, 2010

Outstanding Teaching Award Resident Medical Staff in Psychiatry UC Davis School of Medicine for dedication to teaching medical students, 2008, 2009

Departmental Nominee, AADPRT Ginsberg Fellowship UC Davis Department of Psychiatry 2008 for innovations in teaching during residency, 2008

Outstanding Student in Psychiatry Award UC Davis School of Medicine, 2006

Hoops K, Fahimi J, Khoeur L, Studenmund C, Barber C, Barnhorst A, Betz ME, Crifasi CK, Davis JA, Dewispelaere W, Fisher L, Howard PK, Ketterer A, Marcolini E, Nestadt PS, Rozel J, Simonetti JA, Spitzer S, Victoroff M, Williams BH, Howley L, Ranney ML. Consensus-Driven Priorities for Firearm Injury Education Among Medical Professionals. Acad Med. 2021 Jul 6. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000004226. Epub ahead of print. PMID:34232149.

Swanson JW, Nestadt PS, Barnhorst AV, Frattaroli S. Risk-Based Temporary Firearm Removal Orders: A New Legal Tool for Clinicians. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2021 Jan-Feb 01;29(1):6-9. doi:10.1097/HRP.0000000000000278. PMID:33417372.

Barnhorst A, Gonzales H, Asif-Sattar R. Suicide prevention efforts in the United States and their effectiveness. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2021 May 1;34(3):299-305. doi:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000682. PMID:33405481.

Newman WJ, Barnhorst AV, Landess JS. A Transgender Woman With Intellectual Disability and Borderline Personality Disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 1;175(11):1061-1063. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17121349. PMID:30380931.

Barnhorst A, Kagawa RMC. Access to firearms: When and how do mental health clients become prohibited from owning guns? Psychol Serv. 2018 Nov;15(4):379-385. doi:10.1037/ser0000185. PMID:30382733.

Barnhorst A., Wintemute GJ, Betz ME (2018) How Should Make Decisions About Mandatory Reporting When a Patient Might Become Violent? AMA J Ethics. 2018;20(1):29-35. doi:10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.1.ecas1-1801.

Barnhorst A. Mental Illness and Firearms Law. Rosner R. Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry, 3rd Edition, Hodder Arnold Publishing. 2016.

Barnhorst A, Xiong G. Amphetamine-Related Psychiatric Disorders. Medscape Drugs & Diseases. 2016.

Frattaroli S, McGinty EE, Barnhorst A, Greenberg S. Gun Violence Restraining Orders: Alternative or Adjunct to Mental Health-Based Restrictions on Firearms? Behav Sci Law. 2015 May 19;33(2-3):290-307. doi:10.1002/bsl.2173. PMID:25990840.

Barnhorst A. California Firearms Law and Mental Illness. Behav Sci Law. 2015 Jun;33(2-3):246-56. doi:10.1002/bsl.2177. Epub 2015 Apr 21. PMID:25899250.