WHY SEE A PSYCHIATRIST?
Psychiatrists are specialized medical doctors. The profession requires at least 12 years in higher education:
4 years of undergraduate studies (“pre-med” or otherwise)
4 years of medical school (7% acceptance rate on average)
4 years of specialty training or “residency” in psychiatry (1,904 positions across the US)
8-hour exam by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, which certifies 1,500 new psychiatrists per year
Medical doctors (MD), including psychiatrists, require at least 15,000 hours of clinical training before being allowed to independently diagnose, treat or prescribe medications. In comparison, nurse practitioners (NP) require 500 clinical hours (typically supervised by a medical doctor); and physician assistants (PA) require 2,000 clinical hours.
WHY SEE A PERINATAL PSYCHIATRIST?
My additional training offers an in-depth understanding of the nuances when diagnosing, treating or prescribing medications for moms and moms-to-be. One major hesitation for taking medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding is that it may negatively affect the baby. As a mom of 2 under 2, I understand.
A few examples of such nuances:
50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. However, fetal organs, such as the neural tube and the heart, are formed between 2-5 weeks and 2-8 weeks after conception, respectively, when most people are unaware that they’re pregnant. This means avoiding medications that may interfere with fetal organ formation is imperative for women of reproductive age, especially during preconception planning.
Pregnancy lowers or increases the serum level of some medications. For instance, lithium requires a dose reduction 24-48 hours before delivery to lower the chance of infant toxicity.
WHY SEE A SPORTS PSYCHIATRIST?
My additional training offers an in-depth understanding of the nuances when diagnosing, treating or prescribing medications for athletes. You may be reluctant to take medication that can impair your athletic performance or is classified as a “performance enhancer” and is prohibited in your sport. As a former student athlete, I understand.
A few examples of such nuances:
Propranolol is a common medication for performance anxiety. However, it can also lessen tremors and improve fine motor control, and therefore is prohibited at all times in archery and shooting, and in competitions for golf, automobile, billiards, darts, and some skiing, snowboarding or underwater sports.
Most bipolar medications may cause weight gain, tremors or sedation that can impair athletic performance. Thus, lamotrigine, which is less likely to produce these side effects, is preferred for athletes.
WHAT SETS ME APART?
My Masters in Psychopharmacology and Applied Psychology add even more insight on all things medication and human behavior.
Every patient is different, and my recommendations are always made on a case-by-case analysis. If together we determine that medication is beneficial, I'll walk you through different options, thoroughly explain their risks, benefits, alternatives and potential side effects, so you can be fully informed and content with your next steps.
Expertise and Highlights
Academic Chief Resident
#1 in the Annual Psychiatry Resident-in-Training Exam
Competed twice in the National American Psychiatric Association MindGames
Postpartum Support International
Certified in Perinatal Mental Health
Proud mom of 2 under 2
International Society for
Certified in Sports Psychiatry
Former student athlete (swimming, basketball, volleyball)
Neuroscience Education Institute
MASTER OF PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Graduated with Distinction
Trained in prescribing medications with special considerations: pregnancy, breastfeeding, athletic performance, etc.
University of Southern California
MASTER OF SCIENCE
IN APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY
GPA 4.00, Summa Cum Laude
Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society (top 10% graduate students from all disciplines)
UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara
BURNOUT & DEPRESSION
Compared 50 electronic resources to prevent burnout and depression
Created burnout infographics that are featured by UCSD/American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
Web-based tools and mobile applications to mitigate burnout, depression and suicidality among healthcare students and professionals: a systematic review
Gender differences among medical students, house staff, and faculty physicians at high risk for suicide: A HEAR report
The neural mechanisms of meditative practices: Novel approaches for healthy aging
The functional highly sensitive brain: a review of the brain circuits underlying sensory processing sensitivity and seemingly related disorders
The effects of CBT among older adults compared with younger adults in community mental health
AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION
Associations between different components of quality of life and suicidal ideation among community psychiatric outpatients
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF PSYCHIATRIC RESIDENCY TRAINING
Web-based tools and mobile applications for medical student, house-staff and faculty burnout, depression and suicide risk
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY
The role of collaborative care in concussion recovery and treatment
SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE
Estimation of response probabilities to 10 common antidepressants based on the geographic distribution of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with treatment responses
KEYNOTE SPEAKER - UCLA-KERN GRAND ROUNDS
Exercise for depression, anxiety, addiction and ADHD
KEYNOTE SPEAKER - PERSONNEL TESTING COUNCIL OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Burnout, impostor syndrome and depression