Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences

Quality of Life

The residency program aims to provide an environment for optimal learning, competent and compassionate care, and personal growth and development. We have structured the program to provide a well-rounded experience and balanced lifestyle for residents.

A Variety of Educational Opportunities

Protected Didactic Time

In addition to the teaching on the wards and during other clinical activities, residents also attend scheduled didactic classes and Grand Rounds on Thursday afternoons.  Residents’ general clinical duties are covered during this time in order to provide a learning environment with minimal distractions.

Scholarly Concentration Time

Beginning in the PGY-2 year, residents have time set aside to work on a project or clinical activity of their own interest. This may include clinical work with patients, research, or other activities based on the individual goals of the resident.

Extracurricular Learning Opportunities

There are a wide range of learning opportunities available to residents including journal clubs, psychotherapy groups, small group psychodynamic seminars offered by local psychoanalytic institutes, CBT groups, research projects, focus groups, and several residency education projects and groups.

Weekly Process Group

Beginning in the PGY1 year, residents participate in a weekly process group with their classmates.  The goal of this experience is for residents to learn more about each other, find support, and to explore interpersonal dynamics and how these affect interactions with patients.

Arbor Clinic

Arbor Free Clinic is an acute care clinic primarily serving patients who lack medical insurance. Arbor has physicians and Spanish speaking translators on staff to treat children, adults, and seniors.  The Mental Health Clinic offers assistance for psychiatric needs. Residents can volunteer their time to see patients under attending supervision in this clinic on a monthly basis.

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Resident Life

One of the great perks of training at Stanford is its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its beautiful, diverse landscapes including the Bay to its east, the Pacific Ocean to its west, and the Santa Cruz mountains just south. Such acclaimed destinations as the wine country of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the rugged coast of Mendocino County, scenic Monterey Peninsula, Lake Tahoe with its ski resorts, and Yosemite National Park are easy weekend getaways from our location. The Bay Area is also home to a fascinating mix of cultures and experiences, food and art.

A University Environment

Residents benefit from the rich academic and cultural life of Stanford University, which is adjacent to the hospital. In addition to the many lectures, concerts, museums, and sports activities, residents have access to Stanford University libraries and athletic facilities, including the Stanford golf course.

Program Retreat

Each year the department sponsors a day-long retreat for residents only. This is an opportunity for residents to connect in a context outside the work setting. Recent retreat topics have included: physician wellness, team building, and feedback.

Resident Lunches

Each week, residents meet after Grand Rounds on Thursdays for a residency-sponsored lunch. This offers residents a time to meet and connect with each other. Frequently, this time is also used for residency-wide or class check-ins with the program directors and chief residents.

Opportunities for Leadership

Residents are encouraged to participate in residency leadership activities, including the Selection Advisory Committee, the Program Evaluation Committee, the Technology Committee, and various rotation-specific faculty-resident educational workgroups. Residents also have the opportunity to be elected to various representative positions at the GME, University, regional and national level.

In addition, we support our residents in their applications to a wide range of fellowships and travel awards to participate in conferences and educational opportunities in the specialty area(s) of their choosing.


PGY-1s and 2s have two pre-scheduled slots of 14 days each to be used for vacation and educational time. PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents are allowed four weeks of individually-scheduled vacation/educational time each year.

Resident Well-Being

Resident well-being is a priority to us. We make every attempt to create a supportive and growthful environment for our residents throughout their training. This includes dinners at the training directors' homes, the annual PRITE night, appreciation dinners and small group resident-faculty mingling events. Residents have frequent opportunities to check-in with training directors and chief residents on formal and informal bases. Process groups by class are also an opportunity for residents to work through and get support around the inevitable stressors of residency training.

We also participate in the Stanford GME Resident Well Being program.


Stanford Housestaff Benefits are detailed on the GME website.

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