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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. 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. In the PGY-3 year, residents select from several community psychiatry clinics to rotate (e.g. La Clinica or Roots Community Health Center in Oakland, Asian Americans for Community Involvement in San Jose, or Momentum for Mental Health).  During scholarly concentration time in PGY2-4, residents may engage clinically or non-clinically with one of several community psychiatry opportunities in the bay area. Interested residents may also participate in the community track program, 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 $600 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?

We typically have at least one parent in each class, some of whom start their families during residency. Our program is very supportive of these residents and flexible in finding ways for them to take parental leave while minimizing the 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.