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Resident Responses to Applicant FAQ's

How often does psychiatry collaborate with other specialties at Stanford?

All the time! We love working with our colleagues across different medical and surgical specialties at Stanford. For example, we rotate on medicine and neurology services during PGY1, field inpatient psychiatry consults from the emergency department, ICUs, and other floors, see referrals in psychiatry clinics from other specialties, and often work on collaborative scholarly projects across specialties. In fact, psychiatry is one of the most frequently consulted services in the hospital!

How diverse is the patient population?

Quite diverse! As a Stanford resident, you will have the opportunity to treat patients from many walks of life. The Palo Alto VA serves veterans of  diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (not to mention offering the largest number of psychiatric beds in the entirety of Northern California). Our residents have the option to work at a variety of community clinics that serve diverse populations, including immigrant, refugee and homeless populations. For example, Arbor Free Clinic is open to all regardless of immigration status and the clinic offers free on-site medical and psychiatric services in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Stanford hospital additionally has a large catchment area and thus serves patients from a variety of different areas and cultures.

Are there opportunities within community psychiatry?

Yes! In the PGY-1 year, residents have the option to rotate through Santa Cruz County behavioral health and work some weekends at the Arbor Free Clinic. In the PGY-3 year, residents participate in community psychiatry at various clinics, serving the gamut from torture survivors to persons with HIV to the homeless. Residents may also opt to engage in one of numerous community psychiatry clinical or non-clinical opportunities during their scholarly concentration time. Interested residents may also join the community psychiatry interest group, which hosts speakers from within Stanford and participates in local community outreach events.

How am I going to afford living in Silicon Valley?

A very common question from prospective applicants. While Silicon Valley can potentially be an expensive place to live, affordable housing in the area is available. Residents who live with housemates can find themselves near campus (sometimes within walking distance) at a reasonable price; certainly comparable to other large cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Several residents live in nearby cities such as East Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, Mountain View, and Los Altos, all within 20 minutes of campus, without breaking the bank. There is also a resident housing complex next to campus that is available by lottery. Furthermore, Stanford offers all of its residents a $500 monthly housing allowance to offset costs and offers a competitive salary.

Are there opportunities for Moonlighting?

Absolutely! Many residents choose to moonlight in their 3rd and 4th years. Remuneration is very competitive, and some determined residents come close to doubling their salaries! Several locations, such as San Mateo County, Santa Clara Valley, and Momentum for Mental Health, offer a great chance to gain more experience in community psychiatry from the psychiatric emergency department to inpatient wards to residential and outpatient clinics.

Is everyone in your program married or partnered up when they come into residency?

No! While we love our married friends and appreciate the couple-time, the Stanford psychiatry program attracts a diverse group of residents. As many as half of a class at a time has been single, and there are many places to go out and meet others. Online dating is pretty popular and there is a large pool of people in the area who work and are single.

What's it like to have a child in residency?

Several residents in the program start their families during residency and are met with congratulations and encouragement rather than reproach. The program is very flexible and accommodating towards residents that take time for maternity or paternity leave with limited impact on training. One challenge is finding affordable and convenient childcare options, but the GME office continues to expand support and options for childcare for residents.