Residents at their annual retreat in Sonoma, California.
Current Resident Spotlight
Michael Auza, M.D.My hometown is Virginia Beach, where I lived from 18 months to 18 years of age. I completed undergraduate studies in Neuroscience and Biochemistry at the College of William and Mary, an hour away from home. I slowly but surely moved even further away from home by going directly into medical school at the University of Virginia. I finally took a leap and applied for residencies on the west coast to see what would happen and it turned out to be the best move of my life. I found CPMC to be unique in that it appeared to be the only program that not only offered a diverse selection of mentors in psychotherapy, but also inherently encouraged its residents to be truly self-reflective. I chose psychiatry because it engenders inquiry into the human condition, and I chose this program because it grants its residents freedom to tailor their practice to their own personalities, recognizing that every person (clinicians and patients alike) has his or her own history. The further along I go in this residency the more introspective I become, and the more I realize how this program, its mentors and my colleagues have really helped me grow, both professionally and personally. It has helped me in my short life thus far feel more attuned to humanity. I really feel like I have come upon a hidden gem in San Francisco. I am so happy to be here.
Rebecca Clendenin, M.D.Unlike many of my colleagues I am a near-native San Franciscan. My parents moved to San Francisco when I was nine months old and I grew up in the city and though I am back now where I was raised my path back to SF and psychiatry residency at CPMC has been more than a little circuitous. I attended college at the University of Utah in order to pursue competitive freestyle skiing. An inquiry and a season off led to my involvement in competitive cycling and I moved back to California to race bikes and finish my undergraduate work at UC Davis. After college I fell into a career in advertising and had a wonderful time promoting California tourism and various ski resorts throughout the west, but it was not my passion and some self-examination led me to pursue a medical degree at UC Davis initially with an interest in OB/GYN. Psychiatry was not something I considered until my third year rotation when I became fascinated by the breadth of psychopathology and uniqueness of the human narrative in the practice of Psychiatry. I was drawn to CPMC because of the dedication to psychodynamic psychotherapy training and the supervision offered in psychotherapy. I have happily found myself back in San Francisco raising my own child now and with an ever growing commitment to the practice of Psychiatry instilled by our many fabulous faculty and supervisors here at CPMC.
Caitlin Ryan, M.D.I arrived at psychiatry via a seemingly circuitous path: undergraduate study of culture and international development at Duke University; teaching wilderness medicine, survival and group development; and international study and living abrad in South Asia. Running through each of these seemingly disparate areas, was a clear thread of interest in the human mind, the brain, emotion, and behavior. I went to medical school at the UC San Francisco/UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program to learn the details of medicine from an individual and cellular point of view, and to study the treatment of larger communities through public health. After doing research with Afghan, Bosnian, and Cambodian Refugees, evaluating both a community based mental health program, and more broadly the traditional paradigm for understanding refugee mental health, I chose psychiatry as the obvious field where all my interests converge. CPMC feels like the perfect residency for me, in which I have been able to focus more deeply on the study of mind and behavior while working directly with a diverse patient group. I think CPMC is a unique blend of small, family-like supportiveness, together with rigor and intellectual curiosity. I feel grateful to have been at CPMC for the past four years and hope to maintain a connection to this program for many years to come!
Sweta Shah, M.D.It is no surprise to anyone who knows me that I chose a career in psychiatry. Although I have been formally studying mental health since majoring in psychology as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I have been curious about human behavior and thought processes ever since I can remember. After college, initially envisioning a career in clinical psychology, I spent two years working as a domestic violence counselor. However, my increasing interest in the interaction of the biological basis of mental illness led me to instead pursue a degree in medicine at the University of California, Davis. Between my third and fourth years of medical school, I had the opportunity to study borderline personality disorder in adolescents through the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Mood and Personality Lab in New York. As a fourth year medical student, I discovered I had many “requirements” for my ideal residency training program – overall proficiency, strong psychotherapy training, solid psychopharmacology courses, diversity of patients and instructors, supportive faculty and co-residents, and perhaps most importantly, an environment that would continue to foster the natural curiosity that drew me to this field in the first place, no matter how many long hours I worked. CPMC is that program.
Residency Awards and Post Graduate Experience
Graduates of the California Pacific Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Training Program tend to remain in the San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 25% of the program's graduates enter child/adolescent residencies and fellowship programs; 25% join medical groups; 10% join community psychiatry programs; and 35% enter solo private practices in psychiatry. Many graduates remain involved with the Department in clinical and teaching roles as attending psychiatrists, and as supervisors and instructors for residents and medical students.
Recent graduates of the program have been accepted for subspecialty training fellowships in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. Residents in training in the Department have received fellowship awards including the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training International Medical Graduate Fellowship, the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry Ginsberg Fellowship, and the American Psychoanalytic Association Fellowship Award, the APA Minority Fellowship and CORF Fellowship.