Who We Are

Janet Baek, MD
Residency: San Mateo County
Medical School: Wake Forest School of Medicine

I studied education and social policy in college and became interested in child psychiatry when I discovered the importance of children’s mental health in their ability to learn. I am interested in school mental health, parent/teacher support, psychotherapy, and trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices. I have been involved in research on the benefits of a school yoga program and advocacy efforts through the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Children, Adolescents, and Their Families. 

Choosing Stanford for fellowship training was an easy decision for me. Stanford offers incredible mentors and training opportunities in my areas of interest and has an environment that fosters collegiality and innovation. In addition, I am thrilled to stay in the Bay Area and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, diversity, and vibrant food scene!  

Melissa Beattie, MD
Residency: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Medical School: Thomas Jefferson University

My passion for psychiatry originated in the homeless shelters of Philadelphia. As a medical student, I volunteered as an advocate at one of the largest emergency homeless shelters in the city, where I first began observing the impact of macro-systemic factors on the genesis, maintenance, and treatment of psychiatric illness. Psychiatry residency training in New York increased my appreciation of the impact systemic factors have on rates of recovery, medication adherence, quality of life, disease relapse, and even gene expression. Motivated to become skillful at systemic formulation and intervention, I pursued additional coursework at The Ackerman Institute for the Family in NYC, where I trained in family therapy and learned about the impact of culture, intersectionality, power, and oppression on disease genesis and maintenance. 

My hope as a child and adolescent psychiatrist is to effectively influence systemic dynamics at their earliest stages, in order to improve life trajectories for both patients and their families. I chose Stanford’s fellowship program with the strong belief it would enable me to learn how to empower not only individuals, but also their families and the communities in which they reside. Stanford’s program encourages active pursuit of intellectual curiosity and provides the innovative environment, faculty expertise, mentorship, and resources needed to transform ideas into systemic change. I have been impressed by the quality of our didactics, clinical experiences, and psychotherapy training, and am looking forward to my scholarly block later this year. I am loving the amazing food, outdoors, and climate of the SF Bay Area as well!

Sara Chowdhury, MD
Residency: West Virginia University
Medical School: West Virginia University

I grew up in Bangladesh and got my higher education on the East coast until coming to Stanford. Stanford is the perfect place to cultivate my growth as a physician. The culture here fosters medical innovation, empathy, humility, and the highest quality care. The program has unmatched didactics, supervision, and mentorship. There is great diversity amongst both patient populations and providers. Our program leadership is committed to CAP Fellow wellbeing. Moving to the West coast has also been great. I love travelling, and even though limited by COVID, in California I have discovered so much beauty without leaving the state! My cohort has been very welcoming and supportive, and is definitely one of my favorite things about the fellowship!

Ilang Guiroy, MD
Residency: Los Angeles County + USC
Medical School: Albany Medical College

Stanford was unequivocally my top choice to continue my training as it rounds out my clinical education, while providing a rich and diverse research environment. So far, I have engaged in a broad range of training opportunities such as learning more about eating disorders at the Stanford Comprehensive Care Program, applying DBT skills across clinical environments, and acquiring expertise in psychotherapies like parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) and child parent psychotherapy (CPP). The possibility of longitudinal research time and postdoctoral opportunities beyond the CAP-1 year is exciting. Stanford University has multiple fields of expertise for me to draw upon for my research, including the Center for Digital Health and the School of Communication. Stanford University also has an emphasis on interdisciplinary research and translational medicine as well as ties to the tech community in Silicon Valley.

Kathryn Kinasz, MD
Residency: UCSF
Medical School: Univeristy of Chicago

I am originally from the Chicagoland area and attended University of Notre Dame for undergrad. While working for a consulting firm in Chicago after college, I decided to make a career change and attended a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Bryn Mawr College. I then returned to Chicago for medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

For residency, I made my first move westward and trained at the University of California San Francisco. I fell in love with the SF Bay Area, and thus Stanford was an obvious choice for CAP Fellowship. Additionally, Stanford’s program offered an excellent variety of clinical opportunities, advanced training and research in eating disorders, multiple modalities of psychotherapy supervision, and I felt a sense of community within the CAP Fellowship program even before Day 1. I feel so glad I made this choice!

Professionally, I am interested in psychodynamic psychotherapy, eating disorders, women’s mental health, and medical education. While I have not quite figured out how I am going to fit all those interests into one career path, I am looking forward to receiving mentorship at Stanford in order to figure that out. Outside of work I enjoy the amazing weather of the Bay Area, exploring new hiking trails, and watching my dog run on the beach.

Casey Lester, MD
Residency: UC Riverside
Medical School: UC San Diego

I grew up in the rural north part of the SF Bay Area. Later I worked as a veterinary technician and became fascinated by animal behavior. Pursuing this interest, I studied Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior at UC-Davis. I grew increasingly interested in the field of psychiatry. Prior to attending medical school I spent time in rural South Korea, where I taught English to underserved youth. Returning to the US, I attended UC-San Diego School of Medicine and UC-Riverside for residency.

I chose Stanford for CAP Fellowship due to the warm and welcoming attitude of the program leadership and fellows, and the strong support for pursuing specialty areas. My professional interests include trauma-related disorders, Animal Assisted Therapy, cultural psychiatry, and applications of technology to psychiatry. Outside of work I enjoy a variety of dog-related activities.

Karen Li, MD
Residency: Stanford
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine

After leaving the West coast to spend 8 years in Houston, TX, arriving to the SF Bay Area for residency has felt like finally finding my home. The culture here, including at Stanford, manages to strike the perfect balance of ambition and well-being. There have been endless opportunities for me to grow - both professionally (exploring my interests in neurodiversity, Asian-American cultural psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry) and personally. Outside of work, I am often found trying restaurants with my friends, going on local weekend trips with my husband and dog, and soaking up the sun with my niece and nephews.

Omar Sahak, MD
Residency: Stanford
Medical School: UC Davis

Hi, I'm Omar. A bit about me:

Undergraduate: BS, UC Santa Cruz
Graduate: MPH, San Jose State University
Medical School: UC Davis
General (Adult) Residency: Stanford University

Interests: psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapy, cultural psychiatry, medical education

Hobbies: photography, creative writing, baseball

I've been able to explore and cultivate so many aspects of myself here at Stanford, and look forward to chatting with you more about it!

Kristoffer Strauss, MD
Residency: San Mateo County
Medical School: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

My path to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry began while volunteering on an inpatient psychiatric unit 10 years ago. At the time I was working as a management consultant and had no inkling that I was about to begin a career in medicine. I was struck by the suffering experienced not only by patients but by their families as well. That understanding continues to inform the care I seek to provide to patients today. I have an abiding interest in psychotherapy and completed the psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. As a graduate of the San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Program, I am experienced in public psychiatry and am committed to working with historically marginalized populations. I was attracted to Stanford for so many reasons, but to highlight just one, would be the incredible caliber of the CAP Fellows who have trained in this program, each of whom is working to advance the field of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It is my honor to work with such outstanding colleagues. While at Stanford I look forward to deepening my skills across multiple psychotherapeutic modalities, working with families in moments of crisis, and helping parents navigate the challenges of caring for children with mental illness.


Positive Parenting During COVID-19 Series  for recorded webinars, click here

Mindfulness for Parents Class starts 1/25/22  Click here for details and registration. 

Autism Parent Support Group Now via Zoom until further notice. Meets on second Mondays from 7-8:30pm (Sept.-June). To be added to the monthly email with participant zoom info, click here.