Bio


Dr. Raj specializes in the treatment of mood disorders with an expertise in neuromodulation and in the psychopharmacological management of bipolar disorder. She is the director of education for interventional psychiatry where she manages resident education in ECT and TMS and development of didactics. She is also co-director of the neuroscience curriculum for the psychiatry residency where she has worked to assess and create a new series of interactive lectures. She currently serves on the Education Committee of the Clinical TMS society as well as the Education Committee of the National Neurosciences Curriculum Initiative.

Clinical Focus


  • Psychiatry
  • Interventional psychiatry
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • ECT
  • bipolar disorder
  • major depression
  • physician well-being
  • young adult relational distress

Academic Appointments


  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Administrative Appointments


  • Director of Education for Interventional Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2017 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Chairman’s Award in Educational Excellence, Stanford Department of Psychiatry (May 2019)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Education committee member, Clinical TMS Society (2019 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Residency: Stanford University - Dept of Psychiatry (2015) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (2015)
  • Medical Education: Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (2011) CA
  • Bachelor of Science, Case Western Reserve University, Biomedical engineering (2007)

All Publications


  • Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression. The American journal of psychiatry Cole, E. J., Stimpson, K. H., Bentzley, B. S., Gulser, M., Cherian, K., Tischler, C., Nejad, R., Pankow, H., Choi, E., Aaron, H., Espil, F. M., Pannu, J., Xiao, X., Duvio, D., Solvason, H. B., Hawkins, J., Guerra, A., Jo, B., Raj, K. S., Phillips, A. L., Barmak, F., Bishop, J. H., Coetzee, J. P., DeBattista, C., Keller, J., Schatzberg, A. F., Sudheimer, K. D., Williams, N. R. 2020: appiajp201919070720

    Abstract

    New antidepressant treatments are needed that are effective, rapid acting, safe, and tolerable. Intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation treatment that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment-resistant depression. Recent methodological advances suggest that the current iTBS protocol might be improved through 1) treating patients with multiple sessions per day at optimally spaced intervals, 2) applying a higher overall pulse dose of stimulation, and 3) precision targeting of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) circuit. The authors examined the feasibility, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT), an accelerated, high-dose resting-state functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI)-guided iTBS protocol for treatment-resistant depression.Twenty-two participants with treatment-resistant depression received open-label SAINT. fcMRI was used to individually target the region of the left DLPFC most anticorrelated with sgACC in each participant. Fifty iTBS sessions (1,800 pulses per session, 50-minute intersession interval) were delivered as 10 daily sessions over 5 consecutive days at 90% resting motor threshold (adjusted for cortical depth). Neuropsychological testing was conducted before and after SAINT.One participant withdrew, leaving a sample size of 21. Nineteen of 21 participants (90.5%) met remission criteria (defined as a score <11 on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale). In the intent-to-treat analysis, 19 of 22 participants (86.4%) met remission criteria. Neuropsychological testing demonstrated no negative cognitive side effects.SAINT, an accelerated, high-dose, iTBS protocol with fcMRI-guided targeting, was well tolerated and safe. Double-blinded sham-controlled trials are needed to confirm the remission rate observed in this initial study.

    View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19070720

    View details for PubMedID 32252538

  • Teaching Practice-Based Learning on Inpatient Psychiatric Services. Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry Kalinowski, A., Raj, K. S., Bandstra, B. S. 2019

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: Psychiatry residents must learn to incorporate new information into clinical practice as the field quickly evolves. The authors developed a practice-based workshop grounded in active learning principles on the inpatient psychiatric unit.METHODS: Residents rotating on inpatient services observed a patient interview, then brainstormed learner-driven learning objectives. They each independently researched selected topics, then utilized peer instruction and discussion grounded in the clinical case. Topic areas covered over a year were tracked and residents' experiences were surveyed.RESULTS: The material covered included evidence-based treatments, neuroscience, cultural, and systems psychiatry. Residents rated the workshop as highly effective and engaging (91% and 96%, respectively, on Likert Scale) and positively on the Tutorial Group Effectiveness Instrument (3.8±0.6 for cognitive aspects, 3.2±0.7 for motivational aspects, and 2.7±0.6 for demotivational aspects).CONCLUSIONS: This case-based and learner-driven peer teaching model based on an active learning model allows for quick integration of new material into the curriculum with resident satisfaction.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s40596-019-01113-y

    View details for PubMedID 31642050

  • What Do We Mean by Physician Wellness? A Systematic Review of Its Definition and Measurement ACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY Brady, K. S., Trockel, M. T., Khan, C. T., Raj, K. S., Murphy, M., Bohman, B., Frank, E., Louie, A. K., Roberts, L. 2018; 42 (1): 94–108

    Abstract

    Physician wellness (well-being) is recognized for its intrinsic importance and impact on patient care, but it is a construct that lacks conceptual clarity. The authors conducted a systematic review to characterize the conceptualization of physician wellness in the literature by synthesizing definitions and measures used to operationalize the construct.A total of 3057 references identified from PubMed, Web of Science, and a manual reference check were reviewed for studies that quantitatively assessed the "wellness" or "well-being" of physicians. Definitions of physician wellness were thematically synthesized. Measures of physician wellness were classified based on their dimensional, contextual, and valence attributes, and changes in the operationalization of physician wellness were assessed over time (1989-2015).Only 14% of included papers (11/78) explicitly defined physician wellness. At least one measure of mental, social, physical, and integrated well-being was present in 89, 50, 49, and 37% of papers, respectively. The number of papers operationalizing physician wellness using integrated, general-life well-being measures (e.g., meaning in life) increased [X 2 = 5.08, p = 0.02] over time. Changes in measurement across mental, physical, and social domains remained stable over time.Conceptualizations of physician wellness varied widely, with greatest emphasis on negative moods/emotions (e.g., burnout). Clarity and consensus regarding the conceptual definition of physician wellness is needed to advance the development of valid and reliable physician wellness measures, improve the consistency by which the construct is operationalized, and increase comparability of findings across studies. To guide future physician wellness assessments and interventions, the authors propose a holistic definition.

    View details for PubMedID 28913621

  • High-dose spaced theta-burst TMS as a rapid-acting antidepressant in highly refractory depression. Brain : a journal of neurology Williams, N. R., Sudheimer, K. D., Bentzley, B. S., Pannu, J., Stimpson, K. H., Duvio, D., Cherian, K., Hawkins, J., Scherrer, K. H., Vyssoki, B., DeSouza, D., Raj, K. S., Keller, J., Schatzberg, A. F. 2018

    View details for PubMedID 29415152

  • Well-Being in Residency: A Systematic Review. Journal of graduate medical education Raj, K. S. 2016; 8 (5): 674–84

    Abstract

    Rates of physician burnout have increased in recent years, and high burnout levels are reported by physicians in training.This review of the research on resident well-being seeks to identify factors associated with well-being, summarize well-being promotion interventions, and provide a framework for future research efforts.Keywords were used to search PubMed, PsycINFO, and MEDLINE. Studies included were conducted between 1989 and 2014. The search yielded 82 articles, 26 which met inclusion criteria, and were assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument.Articles measured resident well-being and associated factors, predictors, effects, barriers, as well as interventions to improve well-being. Factors identified in psychological well-being research-autonomy, building of competence, and strong social relatedness-are associated with resident well-being. Sleep and time away from work are associated with greater resident well-being. Perseverance is predictive of well-being, and greater well-being is associated with increased empathy. Interventions focused on health and coping skills appear to improve well-being, although the 3 studies that examined interventions were limited by small samples and single site administration.An important step in evolving research in this area entails the development of a clear definition of resident well-being and a scale for measuring the construct. The majority (n = 17, 65%) of existing studies are cross-sectional analyses of factors associated with well-being. The literature summarized in this review suggests future research should focus on factors identified in cross-sectional studies, including sleep, coping mechanisms, resident autonomy, building competence, and enhanced social relatedness.

    View details for DOI 10.4300/JGME-D-15-00764.1

    View details for PubMedID 28018531

  • Hypomagnesemia in Adolescents With Eating Disorders Hospitalized for Medical Instability NUTRITION IN CLINICAL PRACTICE Raj, K. S., Keane-Miller, C., Golden, N. H. 2012; 27 (5): 689-694

    Abstract

    Hypomagnesemia in patients with eating disorders is poorly characterized, particularly among adolescents.To determine the prevalence of hypomagnesemia (Mg ≤ 1.7 mg/dL) and clinical characteristics of adolescents hospitalized with a DSM-IV-diagnosed eating disorder who developed hypomagnesemia, a retrospective chart review was conducted on all adolescents aged 10-21 years with an eating disorder were hospitalized at a tertiary care children's hospital from 2007 to 2010. Patients were refed orally with standard nutrition and high-energy liquid supplements. Serum magnesium and phosphorus were obtained on admission, every 24-48 hours for the first week, and thereafter as clinically indicated. Clinical characteristics of patients with hypomagnesemia were compared with those of individuals with normal magnesium levels and those with hypophosphatemia.Eighty-six of 541 eligible participants (15.9%) developed hypomagnesemia. Forty (47%) with hypomagnesemia admitted to purging in the year before admission, with 88% purging during the prior month. Compared with those with normal serum magnesium levels, patients with hypomagnesemia were older (P = .0001), ill longer (P = .001), more likely to be purging (P = .04), and more likely to have an alkaline urine (P = .01). They did not differ in eating disorder diagnosis, BMI, or other electrolyte disturbances. Hypomagnesemia developed 4.9 ± 5.5 days after refeeding was initiated, significantly later than the onset of hypophosphatemia, 0.95 ± 2.6 days (P < .001).Hypomagnesemia is prevalent in adolescents hospitalized for an eating disorder and is associated with purging and alkaline urine. Hypomagnesemia develops later in the course of refeeding than hypophosphatemia. Magnesium levels should continue to be monitored after the more immediate risk of hypophosphatemia has passed, especially in those with alkaline urine.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0884533612446799

    View details for PubMedID 22683565