Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trainees


Sabrina Ali Leger, M.D.
Residency: SUNY Downstate
Medical School: St. George's University  

Stanford has felt very much like finding an academic home. I was looking for a program that would provide a strong foundation and springboard to explore new ideas about psychiatry, and the program has exceeded my expectations. What has struck me most is the breadth of interests shared by the faculty and fellows and how supportive they are in wanting to foster your particular passions. Although it has changed over time, my current interests include computational psychiatry and infant mental health.

I am incredibly thankful to have joined the Stanford family and to be surrounded by a genuine and thoughtful community who care deeply about the clinical environment, while also working towards the ever-elusive work/life balance. The sunshine, outdoors, and culture make this an incredible place to live and I have quickly become a west coast convert.

David Braitman, M.D.
Residency: University of New Mexico
Medical School: Indiana University

I grew up in Indiana where I completed medical school and subsequently began my journey west for adult psychiatry residency in New Mexico and continuing to California for a child fellowship.

In searching the country for fellowship programs I sought out programs that were well known for their quality of education, variety of clinical experiences, strong mentorship and pioneering research. At Stanford I was impressed with their focus on personal well being, strong teaching faculty, open door attitude and enthusiasm for mentorship. Since coming here I have continued to find the department extremely warm, supportive and enthusiastic about my own ideas and goals as a physician which is exactly what I wanted in a program. I am very happy with my decision

Philip Cawkwell, M.D.
Residency: MGH
Medical School: NYU

As a lifelong east coaster (college at the University of Pennsylvania, medical school at NYU, and adult psychiatry residency at MGH/McLean), the decision to come to Stanford for fellowship was driven by a desire to train at the best fellowship program which offered a complete breadth of clinical opportunities. Additionally, I was drawn to Stanford’s unique curriculum which affords every fellow protected time to research whatever area within child psychiatry they find meaningful. My current areas of particular interest include working with children with ADHD, OCD, and first-episode psychosis. I am also interested in medical education, narrative medicine, public health, and outcomes research. Outside of work I enjoy spending as much time in nature with my fiancé as possible and running long distances with my dog.

Bayan Jalalizadeh, M.D.
Residency: UT Southwestern
Medical School: Washington Univ. in St Louis  

My interest in working with children, adolescents, and their families stems from a variety of influences: from my personal values--living a life of service and recognizing the intrinsic nobility in every person--to years of working with children and youth in grassroots, community-building initiatives. I grew up in Dallas, Texas in a multicultural family, where I learned to appreciate the diversity of ideas, peoples, and traditions; from there, I moved on to St. Louis, Missouri, where I studied biomedical engineering and medicine at Washington University, and where I pursued writing and publishing of fiction and fantasy books. I'm also an avid musician and game designer, in whatever spare time I have left. With my diversity of backgrounds, I found Stanford's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program to be the perfect place to train, where there are unique opportunities, ample resources, and dedicated scholarly time. Now, I hope to engage in community and integrated mental health settings, and to use my experience in writing to open our understanding of the field to the public.

Eric McDonald, M.D.
Residency: Loma Linda
Medical School: Loma Linda

As a Bay Area native, I have been aiming to return to my home community since entering into my undergraduate education at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. My journey into medicine took me further south to Loma Linda where I completed my medical school and general residency training. I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to return home and join the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Stanford University. I have found the program to exceed my already high expectations for such a distinguished institution. Not only is the breadth and depth of knowledge available from the faculty superb, but I have also found the care and compassion with which they treat their patients and the trainees exemplary. Furthermore, the air of intellectual curiosity is intoxicating, and I am eager to see what my colleagues and I are able to contribute to the growing field of psychiatry. Alongside a group of both driven and kindhearted trainees and under the tutelage of exceptional leadership, I know without a doubt we will develop into top-notch child and adolescent psychiatrists after our two years at Stanford.

Tatiana Mefford, M.D.
Residency: San Mateo County
Medical School: UC Irvine

I chose Stanford for many reasons, including the quality education, breadth of learning opportunities amongst experts in the field, proximity to my family in the Bay Area, and the warmth and support of our caring faculty. What I’ve discovered since starting fellowship is that the faculty and staff are also incredibly humorous, approachable, and fun to work alongside and learn from. I am very grateful to be a part of the Stanford family, and I couldn't be happier with my decision!

Brooke Rosen, M.D.
Residency: UCSF
Medical School: Mayo Clinic  

During my experience in a clinical research lab at the National Institute of Mental Health, I first discovered the joy and meaning that I derived from working with children and their families. Child psychiatry represents more than a clinical passion to me; it also provides an opportunity to translate hope into systemic change. I feel fortunate and excited to work in child and adolescent psychiatry -- a field that examines human development as an inextricable interaction between brain malleability and the sociocultural web of a child's life, while also serving as a channel for improving the mental health of not only an individual, but generations of individuals. Toward this goal, I hope to integrate clinical practice in the public sector with advocacy and policy-focused work, informed by community care and research.

Given my interests, Stanford's community track really appealed to me, as it provides the opportunity to work in a diverse range of community settings throughout the Peninsula. Since beginning fellowship, I've also felt so lucky to be training with such supportive, thoughtful, dedicated and compassionate co-fellows. Plus, after completing my residency at UCSF, I was glad to stay in San Francisco and continue exploring the natural beauty of the Bay Area and the endless outdoor opportunities in northern California. After growing up in northern Minnesota, the ability to run outside every day of the year here will never get old!

Cheri Wu, M.D.
Residency: Stanford
Medical School: UT San Antonio

When I applied to fellowship, I searched for a program that valued trainee well-being and mentorship. I was drawn to the breadth and depth of clinical experiences and research opportunities at Stanford. Now, working with supportive training directors, faculty, and co-fellows, I feel confident that Stanford is the best fit for me. I am grateful for the program’s flexibility, which will allow me to explore my interests during scholarly time. I appreciate how the training directors continuously strive to improve the program with fellow input and involvement. Overall, I feel lucky to have matched here, where I am surrounded by passionate, hardworking individuals in a relaxed, friendly culture. Plus, you can’t beat the great weather, scenery, and food the Bay Area has to offer!

Chelsea Young, M.D.
Residency: UCSF
Medical School: UCSF

I have lived in the Bay Area for literally my entire life, having attended Stanford for my undergraduate training and UCSF for medical school and residency. While I considered leaving California for fellowship, ultimately I decided that Stanford's appeal was too great to pass up, both because of the location and the program itself. I think the major perks of the program are the emphasis on learning through robust supervision and didactics, the ability to have an inpatient child psychiatry experience, and the six-week scholarly block during CAP1 year. The faculty go above and beyond to support us as fellows. My interests right now are infant mental health and health systems research. I have two young children of my own and have found the program to be quite accommodating of my needs as a mother. It feels good to be part of the Stanford family again.