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Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program

Program Details


Clinical Rotations

Our one-year curriculum gives the fellows the opportunity to rotate on multiple services at Stanford Hospital and the Palo Alto VA Health Care System. Many of the current rotations (subject to change) include:

  • Geriatric Inpatient Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Outpatient Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Psychiatry Rehabilitation Unit (GPRU)
  • Extended Care/Nursing Home
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Research
  • Geriatric Consult Liaison

Fellows participate in dedicated case conferences and didactics, in addition to being integral parts of the varied multidisciplinary patient care teams.


Fellows attend Grand Rounds and formal didactic instruction weekly when they are excused from clinical duties. The didactic and clinical curricula provide fellows with a thorough and well-balanced presentation of the fundamentals and theories of geriatric psychiatry topics, clinical decision-making, and therapeutic modalities, as well as ethical, cultural, legal and systems-based understanding of mental health issues. Some typical topics (subject to change) include:

  • Patient Safety/Quality Improvement (QI)
  • Neurology/Neuroradiology
  • GPRU case conferences
  • Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Outpatient Psychiatry

Research Training

Fellows will be given the opportunity to participate in any number of new and ongoing clinical research studies. They are encouraged to develop their own pilot project and to present data at national meetings.

Sample Rotation Schedule

July - September Electroconvulsive treatment
Geriatric Outpatient Psychiatry (SHC) 10%
Geriatric Outpatient Psychiatry (multiple clinics at the VA-PAD) 40%
Extended Care/ Nursing Home (VA-MPD) 20%
Research/ Quality Improvement 20%
October - December Extended Care/ Nursing Home (VA-MPD) 10%
Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient (VA-PAD) 20%
Geriatric Outpatient Psychiatry (SHC) 10%
Geriatric Medicine Outpatient Consultation (SHC) 20-30%
Palliative Care (VA-PAD)-80%
January - March Research/ Quality Improvement 20%
Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient 80%
Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic (SHC) 10%
Geriatric Psychiatry Consultation Clinic (SHC) 10%
Research/ Quality Improvement 80%
April - June Geriatric Psychiatry consultation (VA-PAD) 80%
Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic (SHC) 10%
Neuroradiology (SHC) 10%
Memory Disorders (SHC) 10%
Sleep Medicine (SHC) 10%
Psycho-oncology (SHC) 20%

Application Process

We are currently accepting applications for 2025-26.

Program Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Before entry into the program, applicants must complete or have completed an ACGME accredited psychiatry residency program, an AOA-approved residency program, or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada  that qualifies them to sit for the ABPN Psychiatry Board

  2. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, or possess the appropriate documentation to allow them to legally train at the Stanford University Medical Center according to School of Medicine Department of Graduate Medical Education policy.

    Please note that Stanford Health Care does not sponsor H-1B Visas; only J-1 Visas can be sponsored for this fellowship.

  3. Applications for training in the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program must include:
    • Completed application form 
    • Copy of medical school diploma and/or transcripts
    • Documentation of post-graduate medical education completed elsewhere
    • Copies of state medical license(s), DEA certificate, board certifications, when applicable
    • Documentation of ECFMG certification, when applicable
    • Documentation of VISA status, for international applicants
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Personal Statement
    • Three professional letters of recommendation, one must be from the psychiatry training director documenting that the applicant meets the eligibility criterion (#1 above); and at least one from a Geriatric Psychiatry supervisor.
    • Documentation of successful passing scores on USMLE parts 1, 2, and 3.
  4. Applicants must be eligible for medical licensure in the State of California. Graduates of foreign medical schools should contact the Medical Board of California to ensure the requirements to obtain a license and practice medicine in this state have been met.  

Program Faculty and Staff

Program Director
Parnika Saxena, MD

Parnika Saxena is board certified in general and geriatric psychiatry. She completed her residency at St Elizabeth's Medical Center (affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine) in Massachusetts and a clinical geriatric fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also worked as a research fellow in Clinical Psychopharmacology at Mclean Hospital (affiliated with Harvard Medical School) and also completed a psychoanalytic psychotherapy fellowship from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her primary research interests lie in pharmacological and interventional treatments for resistant depression. At Stanford, she works on the inpatient service, outpatient geropsychiatry clinic and the electroconvulsive therapy service. She also serves at the program director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship. In addition to her clinical and research interests, she is passionate about patient advocacy and promoting mental health legislative changes to benefit patient care and has testified in state senate hearings to that end as a physician representative of organizations like the Northern California Psychiatric Association and American Psychiatric Association.

Site Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship, VA Palo Alto
Anna Garcia, MD

Dr. Anna Garcia is a board-certified Geriatric Psychiatrist at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System Menlo Park Division CLC (Community Living Center) and the site director for Stanford geriatric psychiatry fellowship program.  She completed general psychiatry residency training at the University of New Mexico followed by completion of geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Stanford Health Care.  Her professional expertise and areas of interest include ethical issues in geriatric psychiatry and innovations in dementia residential care.

Erin Cassidy-Eagle, PhD

Dr. Erin Cassidy-Eagle is a Clinical Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University.  She is an attending Psychologist in the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic and co-chief of the Geriatric Psychiatry section, with more than 20 years of experience working with older adults. She is board certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in Behavioral Sleep Medicine and is currently serving as President of the newly formed Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. She has conducted research and clinical trainings in the areas of insomnia, geriatric depression, anxiety, as well as Alzheimer’s disease and their associated behavioral manifestations. Dr. Cassidy-Eagle has served as PI on an RCT utilizing CBT for Insomnia versus an active control as well as a project developing and implementing a training program for sleep interventionists.  Clinically, Dr. Erin Cassidy-Eagle specializes in the treatment of mental health disorders in adults and older adults. Dr. Cassidy-Eagle has a special interest in the intersection of sleep, cognition and mental health.

Romika Dhar, MD

Romika Dhar, MD is a double board-certified Geriatric and Adult psychiatrist. She completed her General Psychiatry Residency training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences(UAMS), Little Rock, AR and was selected as an AAGP-GMHF (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry-Geriatric Mental Health Foundation) Honors Scholar.  She completed fellowship training in Geriatric Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Her Clinical areas of interest are Late-life depression, Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and the complexities of polypharmacy in the elderly.

At the Stanford Gero-Psychiatry outpatient clinic, she strives to create a compassionate and understanding environment for her patients. She believes strongly that the mental and psychosocial needs of older adults demand a comprehensive understanding of both the biological and psychosocial aspects of aging. By tailoring individualized treatment plans, leveraging the latest evidence-based approaches, and fostering a strong doctor-patient relationship, she aims to enhance the well-being of every individual she has the privilege to serve. 

She has been an active member of the AAGP and its sub-committees and has been a presenter at the annual conferences. She also enjoys working with trainees and hopefully foster their interest in Geriatric Psychiatry as a career path.

Christine Gould, PhD

Dr. Gould received her Ph.D in psychology from West Virginia University. She completed her internship at VA Palo Alto Health Care System and an Advanced Fellowship in Geriatrics at the GRECC. Dr. Gould is board certified in geropsychology. Her research program develops and tests tailored, self-directed mental health interventions in older adults. Her current funded studies are testing the efficacy of a video-delivered progressive muscle relaxation program with telephone coaching support in reducing anxiety and improving functioning and examining the use of technology by older Veterans. She is also is examining a mobile app-based intervention for depression in middle age and older adults. Dr. Gould has an active interest in training future geriatric mental health clinicians and researchers. She provides mentorship in the following areas: geriatric mental health interventions, technology-delivered interventions for older adults, program evaluation/quality improvement, and qualitative research methods.

Howard H. Fenn, MD

Howard H. Fenn, MD is a staff psychiatrist at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System and an affiliated clinical associate professor at Stanford. He is board-certified in both geriatric psychiatry and adult psychiatry, and has board certification with the American Board of Forensic Psychiatry. He completed his medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, and graduated from general psychiatry residency at the University of California, San Francisco. His interests in geriatric psychiatry include psychopharmacology of the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia,  legal aspects of geriatric psychiatry, and inpatient psychiatry. He has published articles and chapters related to these topics.  He consults to the Stanford/VA Alzheimer’s Center. He has served for ten years as Co-director of  the Stanford Geriatric Psychiatry fellowship and is the VA site director of the inpatient rotation for Stanford geriatric medicine fellowship.   

Daniel Kim, MD

Daniel Kim MD, a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist, obtained a B.S. in cellular & molecular biology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1996, and then earned an M.D. from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California in 2000.  He subsequently completed his general psychiatry residency training at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2004, followed by a clinical fellowship and an NRSA postdoctoral fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he was a Hartford scholar. He subsequently served as medical director of the Senior Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Program, as well as the associate medical director of the Senior Behavioral Health inpatient unit at UCSD, till moving to Stanford University in 2016, where he now serves as medical director of the inpatient geriatric psychiatry service and co-chief of the Geriatric Psychiatry Section.

Feng Vankee Lin, PhD, MB, RN

My career has been devoted to understanding the neural mechanisms involved in brain aging and brain plasticity, with a special focus on early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). My research approach integrates principles and findings from cognitive theory, clinical neuroscience, and computational neuroscience. This approach is complemented by my extensive research experience involving multi-modality neuroimaging (PET, sMRI, dMRI, and fMRI), psychophysiology, neuropsychology, and quantitative research methods. I currently lead an interdisciplinary clinical neuroscience lab, covering a wide spectrum of research from Phases 0-2 in three areas: (a) brain aging, focusing on the links between brain pathophysiology and clinical symptoms, in a wide range of populations, from older adults with superior cognitive capacity to preclinical and prodromal AD, with an overarching aim to gain insights into the broad mechanisms of aging, both in typical and atypical populations and to identify early biomarkers for AD; (b) novel non- pharmacological interventions that promote successful cognitive aging as well as alleviate or eliminate adverse effects of AD pathophysiology; and (c) advanced computational models (e.g., explainable AI) for understanding and intervening on brain aging.

Ryan Pate, MD

Dr. Ryan Pate is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with eligibility for board certification in geriatric psychiatry. He completed his general adult psychiatry training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and pursued his geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Stanford Health Care. In addition to his psychiatry training, he is actively participating in the psychoanalytical psychotherapy fellowship offered by the Palo Alto division of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Pate's research interests primarily focus on providing support for caregivers and developing group interventions tailored to older adults with mental health disorders. At Stanford, his professional practice primarily takes place in an outpatient setting, where he conducts appointments that involve a combination of medication management and psychotherapy interventions. Beyond his clinical work, Dr. Pate is dedicated to medical education.

Barbara R. Sommer, MD

Barbara R. Sommer, MD is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with Added Qualifications in Geriatric Psychiatry. She received her MD at New York Medical College and then completed a medical internship at Baystate Medical Center, a major affiliate of Tufts University. After a Psychiatry residency at Tufts, she completed fellowships in both psychopharmacology and geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital, part of Harvard Medical School. She has served as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York. She was the director of geriatric psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine for 16 years, and continues as an attending psychiatrist there as an emerita Associate Professor.

Perspectives from our Fellows

"Fellowship has been such a great experience! Here at Stanford, the services are not fellow dependent and therefore solely for the purpose of your education. I have had an opportunity to work with a variety of patient populations and faculty are supportive and accessible at all times. I've learned so much and have had fun while doing so! Looking back, I would certainly choose this program again."

Stipends and Benefits

Stipends 2023-24

Effective: September 2023

Year Annual Per Month
PGY I $77,729.60 $6,477.34
PGY II $81,660.80 $6,804.94
PGY III $87,838.40 $7,319.73
PGY IV $92,830.40 $7,735.72
PGY V $98,654.40 $8,221.04
PGY VI $103,001.60 $8,583.30
PGY VII $108,784.00 $9,065.16
PGY VIII $113,734.40 $9,477.68

For more information, please visit the GME Office site.


Annual educational allowance $2,000*

Paid in November providing, all required HealthStream and EPIC/LINKS modules are completed by house staff's assigned deadline

Cell phone allowance $1,000*

Automatically added to paycheck in July

Food allowance $10 per day (shifts of 12 hours or longer for clinical rotations only at SHC & LPCH)*

Payments made on last paycheck of each month

Meal money is taxable income

Housing stipend $7,200 per year (paid as $600 monthly)*+

Automatically paid on 1st paycheck of each month

Medical, dental, vision, and long-term disability insurance provided

Eligible to participate on house staff's hire date

Moving allowance (new hires only) $3,000*

Automatically added to a paycheck in August

1% annual bonus based on completion of a Quality Improvement Project*

Automatically paid at the end of each academic year in June

Cost of initial CA MD license and renewals

Paid upon reimbursement submission for academic year expense occurrence

Cost of initial DEA and renewals

Paid upon reimbursement submission for academic yearexpense occurrence

Cost of USMLE Part Ill for Interns

Paid upon reimbursement submission for academic year expense occurrence

* Please see House Staff Policies and Procedures for full details.
Subject to appropriate taxes 

Contact Us

Parnika Saxena, MD
Geriatric Psychiatry Program Director

Romola L. Breckenridge
Administrative Program Coordinator
Ph: (650) 736-1743

Mailing Address
Parnika Saxena, MD
c/o Romola L. Breckenridge
Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine
401 Quarry Road, Room 2208
Stanford, CA  94305-5723