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San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Training Program


San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Training Program

January, 2020 PROGRAM UPDATES!   We are delighted to announce several program updates: 

Three of our residents matched into Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. Arielle Lasky (PGY3) matched as a fast-track applicant to the UCSF Child and Adolescent Fellowship, Juan Lopez (PGY3) matched as a fast-track applicant to the Stanford Child and Adolescent Fellowship (Community Track position), and Tram Nguyen (PGY4) matched to the Stanford Child and Adolescent Fellowship (Categorical position). 

Construction of our new office building has begun! The Psychiatry Residency Program will have space in a brand new building on the third floor, co-located with Public Health. We look forward to a sunlight-filled space that will double as a resident lounge and learning center. Construction began in early January and is expected to be complete in 12-18 months. 

Renovations will begin at one of our training sites, San Mateo Medical Center, in May, 2020, and will update our inpatient psychiatric unit as well as our psychiatry emergency services. Clinical care and residency training will continue at this site during this time. 


We are a comprehensive psychiatry residency program with an emphasis on community psychiatry at the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our program offers a personalized and progressive approach to psychiatry residency training that guides and nurtures each resident to his or her full professional potential. We aim to graduate psychiatrists who excel in psychiatric knowledge and clinical skills while also making a deep impact on the lives of our patients, our system of care, and the field of community psychiatry.

Highlights of our program include:

  • A supportive and humanistic professional atmosphere
  • Experiences in a designated county psychiatric emergency service
  • Training in outpatient psychiatry starting in PGY 2 year
  • The opportunity to do home visits and outreach to some of the most at risk county patients
  • Excellent and ample supervision from our faculty
  • Flexible elective time in the third and fourth years for the resident to create his/her own educational experiences
  • An emphasis on scholarly activity from a community psychiatry perspective
  • Emphasis on psychotherapy training starting in PGY 2 year
  • Location in the vibrant and diverse San Francisco Bay Area

We look forward to meeting you and discussing the ways our training program can help you launch your career as a psychiatrist.


222 West 39th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403
Directions to the Program

General information

Clinical Rotations

Our clinical rotations are structured to facilitate each resident’s growth and development as an independent psychiatrist as well as a leader of multi-disciplinary teams in our system. Residents build upon their skills with longitudinal clinic experiences and by teaching other residents and visiting medical students throughout the training years. On call and service requirements are minimized in order to promote flexibility in rotation schedules and opportunities for residents to delve deeply into areas of interest in the field.

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Our program emphasizes clinical excellence, leadership development, and personalized training to foster each resident’s growth as a psychiatrist. We devote an entire day per week to protected time for didactics and continue to seek innovative teaching and learning techniques. Our teachers are experts in the field and come from within our own system as well as from major academic centers in the area. We favor learning in small interactive groups and often use a round table tutorial or case discussion format.

General information
Our residents work together to meet a challenge

Our Residents

Our community of residents is the heart and soul of our program. We see our residency not only as a communal forum for learning but also as the spring board for each resident’s individual professional growth. We care about the health of our residents, and do our best to ensure they are heard and respected. Residents learn together through small work groups and, as they become more senior, in sharing their knowledge by teaching junior residents. Ultimately, we hope to foster a bond between residents that will continue long after their training days in San Mateo are over.

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Our Faculty

Core Faculty

Robert Cabaj, MD: Clinical work: Chair of Psychiatry, Medical Director, SMC Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Academic Affiliation: Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF (Voluntary Faculty). Professional Organizational Affiliations: American Psychiatric Association, Northern California Psychiatric Society, California Psychiatric Association, California Mental Health Directors Association. Medical Training: Harvard School of Medicine–MD; Cambridge Hospital–Residency in Psychiatry.

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Resident and Alumni Comments

“My journey at the San Mateo psychiatry residency training program was full of gratitude and excitement! Our residency program is exceptional in preparing the next generation of leaders in the fields of community psychiatry, advanced  psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Our training program provides plenty of room for focusing on individual  interests, be they personal or educational, such as the PGY4 fast track Public Psychiatry Fellowship in conjunction with UCSF, which I was part of and thoroughly enjoyed. In short, this training program has afforded me many opportunities for personal and professional growth.”

—Farah Zaidi, class of 2017, UCSF Public Psychiatry Fellowship class of 2017, Hospital Psychiatrist at San Mateo Medical Center

“There is a humanism about this place that permeates among staff, nurses, doctors and patients. I can’t imagine a better place to have done my psychiatry residency training. In addition to the spirit and the people, you get a variety of rotation settings which I believe is a big advantage to the training here – county, Stanford, UCSF, Kaiser, jails, schools and more.”

— Siya Mehtani, class of 2018, fast-track UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow, APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellow

“While on Inpatient Psychiatry, I have had the distinct privilege to care for some of our most vulnerable populations in a compassionate and humanistic capacity. My attendings have nurtured my goals to provide patient-centered care plans, and combined with close supervision, I feel strongly that my training as a resident physician has been nothing short of excellent. I feel truly fortunate to have chosen San Mateo for my residency program.”

— Juan Lopez, PGY3, APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellow

“San Mateo County provides a unique opportunity to train in community psychiatry while also having the flexibility to pursue academic research, teaching, and leadership opportunities. Residents have the time and support to delve into areas they are passionate about and to make significant contributions to our residency program, the county mental health system, and to the greater field of psychiatry. I feel very lucky to have been at a program where these opportunities are so encouraged and supported.”

—Karen Bos, class of 2014, UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship class of 2016

General information

Applying to Our Program

The Psychiatry Residency Training Program will be accepting applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  Our National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Program Code is 1010400C0. 

Please submit materials through ERAS prior to October 1, 2019. Any new applications received after this date will not be reviewed. We encourage you to submit applications at the earliest possible date as the interview openings fill up very quickly.

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The San Mateo County BHRS Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship 
Program Director: Mike Kelly, MD


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Living in the Bay Area

San Mateo County is located on the San Francisco Peninsula. It borders San Francisco and is a few minutes north of Stanford University. To the east is the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean is to the west. The San Francisco International Airport is in San Mateo County. A ridge of mountains along the eastern edge of the peninsula separates the more heavily populated eastern slopes from the redwood forests, farmlands, and beaches of the Pacific coastline.