Matthew Edwards is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. In this role, Matthew also serves as the assistant director of residency training for the general adult psychiatry residency program. His clinical interests are in community and forensic psychiatry and his research interests lie at the intersection of medical history, ethics, and public policy.

Dr. Edwards graduated from Princeton University in 2010 with a degree in Sociology, magna cum laude, and received a graduate certificate in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health in 2012. He received his MD, summa cum laude, with honors in research from the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in 2017. He completed his residency training in adult psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2021 and his fellowship in forensic psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine in 2022. He was a Pearce Fellow in the History of Medicine at the Clendening Library of the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2015.

His clinical interests are in community psychiatry and forensic psychiatry. At Stanford, Dr. Edwards treats patients in the division of adult psychiatry and the centerspace clinic. This recovery-oriented clinic provides culturally-contextualized and trauma-informed care for people with marginalized, multiple, and intersecting identities. He teaches the history of psychiatry to general psychiatry residents and forensic psychiatry fellows. Dr. Edwards regularly speaks about race, trauma, structural inequality, and the history of medicine at conferences and invited lectures.

Clinical Focus

  • Community Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Psychological Trauma

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor - University Medical Line, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Honors & Awards

  • Honors Scholar, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (2019)
  • GAP Fellow, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (2019)
  • Public Psychiatry Fellowship Award, American Psychiatric Association (2019)
  • Laughlin Fellowship, American College of Psychiatrists (2021)
  • William B. Bean Award, American Osler Society (2014)
  • William Osler Medal Honorable Mention, American Association for the History of Medicine (2017)
  • David M. Little Journal Article Prize, Anesthesia History Association (2017)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), Stanford University School of Medicine (2021)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Forensic Psychiatry (2023)
  • Fellowship: Emory University School of Medicine (2022) GA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (2021)
  • Residency: Stanford University Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2021) CA
  • Medical Education: University of Texas Medical Branch (2017) TX

All Publications

  • The Need to Adapt the Psychiatric Clinical Assessment to the Digital Age: A Practical Approach. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) Moreno, M. A., Dixon, L. B., Jankowski, S., Adler, D. A., Berlant, J., Brunette, M. F., Castillo, E. G., Edwards, M. L., Erlich, M. D., First, M. B., Kozloff, N., Oslin, D., Siris, S., Talley, R. M. 2024: appips20230399


    The use of electronic devices and social media is becoming a ubiquitous part of most people's lives. Although researchers are exploring the sequelae of such use, little attention has been given to the importance of digital media use in routine psychiatric assessments of patients. The nature of technology use is relevant to understanding a patient's lifestyle and activities, the same way that it is important to evaluate the patient's occupation, functioning, and general activities. The authors propose a framework for psychiatric inquiry into digital media use, emphasizing that such inquiry should focus on quality of use, including emotional and behavioral consequences, rather than simply the amount of use.

    View details for DOI 10.1176/

    View details for PubMedID 38477835

  • How Inpatient Psychiatric Units Can Be Both Safe and Therapeutic. AMA journal of ethics Edwards, M. L., Morris, N. P. 2024; 26 (3): E248-256


    Inpatient psychiatric units should be therapeutic environments that support dignity and recovery. When adverse outcomes (eg, self-harm, violence) happen in these settings, clinicians and administrators can face litigation and other pressures to prioritize risk management over supporting patients' access to personal belongings, exercise equipment, and private spaces. This article describes these downward pressures toward sparser, controlling environments in inpatient psychiatric settings as a safety funnel and suggests strategies for balancing safety, humanity, and recovery in these contexts.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/amajethics.2024.248

    View details for PubMedID 38446730

  • Addressing the Increasing Mental Health Distress and Mental Illness Among Young Adults in the United States. The Journal of nervous and mental disease Brunette, M. F., Erlich, M. D., Edwards, M. L., Adler, D. A., Berlant, J., Dixon, L., First, M. B., Oslin, D. W., Siris, S. G., Talley, R. M. 2023; 211 (12): 961-967


    Recent surveys show rising numbers of young people who report anxiety and depression. Although much attention has focused on mental health of adolescent youth, less attention has been paid to young people as they transition into adulthood. Multiple factors may have contributed to this steady increase: greater exposure to social media, information, and distressing news via personal electronic devices; increased concerns regarding social determinants of health and climate change; and changing social norms due to increased mental health literacy and reduced stigma. The COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily exacerbated symptoms and impacted treatment availability. Strategies to mitigate causal factors for depression and anxiety in young adults may include education and skills training for cognitive, behavioral, and social coping strategies, as well as healthier use of technology and social media. Policies must support the availability of health insurance and treatment, and clinicians can adapt interventions to encompass the specific concerns and needs of young adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001734

    View details for PubMedID 38015186

  • Empowering the People: The Freedom House Ambulance Service ANESTHESIOLOGY Edwards, M. L., Moon, J. S. 2023; 138 (6): 655
  • Dying at the Intersections: Police-Involved Killings of Black People With Mental Illness. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) Shadravan, S. M., Edwards, M. L., Vinson, S. Y. 2021; 72 (6): 623-625

    View details for DOI 10.1176/

    View details for PubMedID 34110254

  • Race, Policing, and History - Remembering the Freedom House Ambulance Service. The New England journal of medicine Edwards, M. L. 2021; 384 (15): 1386–89

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMp2035467

    View details for PubMedID 33861523

  • Pittsburgh's Freedom House Ambulance Service: The Origins of Emergency Medical Services and the Politics of Race and Health. Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences Edwards, M. L. 2019; 74 (4): 440–66


    This manuscript explores the history of the Freedom House Enterprises Ambulance Service, a social and medical experiment that trained "unemployable" black citizens during the late 1960s and early 1970s to provide then state of the art prehospital care. Through archives, newspapers, personal correspondence, university memoranda, and the medical literature, this paper explores the comparable, yet different roles of the program's two leaders, Drs. Peter Safar and Nancy Caroline. Despite its success in demonstrating national standards for paramedic training and equipment, the program ended abruptly in 1975. And though Pittsburgh's city administration cited economic constraints for its fledgling support of Freedom House, black and majority newspapers and citizens alike understood the city's diminishing support of the program in racial terms. The paper discusses Safar and Caroline's well-intentioned efforts in developing this novel program, while confronting the racial, social, and structural constraints on the program and the limits of racial liberalism.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jhmas/jrz041

    View details for PubMedID 31592527

  • Variations in Application Instructions for Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships. Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry Morris, N. P., Hirschtritt, M. E., Edwards, M. L. 2019


    In this study, the authors examined the consistency and the transparency of application instructions for forensic psychiatry fellowships in the USA.The authors collected the names of US forensic psychiatry fellowships listed in the Directory of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships maintained by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Using data from active fellowship websites, the authors extracted for each program: (1) timelines for applications and interviews, (2) whether an application form was supplied, and (3) the presence of specific application requirements (e.g., curriculum vitae, personal statement, letters of recommendation, residency training director evaluations, writing samples).Among 45 fellowship websites, 31 (68.9%) did not provide specific dates or months when their application cycle opened, nor did they indicate whether they accepted applications on a rolling basis. Fourteen (31.1%) did not have an application form, and 8 (17.8%) did not list application requirements. Among 37 programs that listed specific requirements on their websites, 36 (97.3%) required a curriculum vitae or letters of recommendation, 35 (94.6%) required a personal statement and/or letter of interest, and 27 (73.0%) required writing samples and/or evaluation materials from residency program directors.This study found considerable variations among online application instructions for US forensic psychiatry fellowships. Although many factors shape recruitment into forensic psychiatry fellowships, improving the consistency and the transparency of application instructions might decrease stress related to the application cycle and streamline recruitment into the field.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s40596-019-01128-5

    View details for PubMedID 31732886

  • From Dental to Mental Institutions: A Quadruple Threat of Nitrous-Oxide Administration Before and During Mental Asylum Admission. Journal of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L., Bause, G. S. 2018; 4 (4): 237–39


    During the 19th century, patients undergoing anesthesia for surgical and dental procedures were at risk of being given hypoxic or dilute nitrous oxide on four separate occasions. Primary and secondary saturation during surgery could account for two administrations of 100% nitrous-oxide anesthesia, while both diagnostic and therapeutic doses of dilute nitrous oxide were frequently administered in mental asylums.

    View details for PubMedID 30558769

  • From Dental to Mental Institutions: Elmer McKesson's Secondary Saturation with Nitrous Oxide. Journal of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L., Bause, G. S. 2018; 4 (3): 196–97


    As popularized by Elmer McKesson, MD, "secondary saturation" with nitrous oxide could expose patients to a second burst of 100% laughing gas to relax their muscles to assist surgeons. On rare occasions, this technique could provide a second opportunity for hypoxic brain damage and possible admission postoperatively to insane asylums.

    View details for PubMedID 30217393

  • From Dental to Mental Institutions: An American Dentist and a British Psychiatrist Highlight Insanity Following Nitrous-Oxide Administration. Journal of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L., Bause, G. S. 2018; 4 (2): 133–34


    In 1887, American dentist Samuel J. Hayes published reports associating unoxygenated anesthetics with asphyxia and insanity, and then British psychiatrist George H. Savage published a report of cases of insanity following nitrous-oxide anesthesia in British journals.

    View details for PubMedID 29960678

  • From Dental to Mental Institutions: Did Hypoxic Anesthetics by "Dental Associations" Add More Brain-Injured Patients to America's Insane Asylums? Journal of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L., Bause, G. S. 2017; 3 (4): 136–37


    Though most patients survived the hypoxic challenge, some patients likely suffered asphyxial brain damage from GQ Colton's nitrous-oxide techniques and were admitted to insane or lunatic asylums.

    View details for PubMedID 29275805

  • From Dental to Mental Institutions: Asylum-Bound Dentist Zacheus Rogers Oxygenates Nitrous Oxide. Journal of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L., Bause, G. S. 2017; 3 (4): 142–43


    American dentist Zacheus Rogers taught surgeon Edmund Andrews-and indirectly anesthesia pioneers SJ Hayes and FW Hewitt-to oxygenate anesthetics. Ironically, Rogers may have himself suffered neurologic damage by failing to oxygenate the nitrous oxide that he is speculated to have abused personally.

    View details for PubMedID 29275808

  • The Historical Development of Obstetric Anesthesia and Its Contributions to Perinatology AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Edwards, M. L., Jackson, A. D. 2017; 34 (3): 211-216


    Scottish obstetrician James Young Simpson first introduced the use of ether and chloroform anesthesia for labor in 1847, just 1 year after William Morton's first successful public demonstration of ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The contemporaneous development of surgical anesthesia and obstetrics enabled obstetric anesthesia to address the pain of childbirth. Shortly after its introduction, obstetricians raised concerns regarding placental transport, or the idea that drugs not only crossed the placenta, but exerted detrimental effects on the neonate. The development of regional anesthesia and clinical work in obstetric anesthesia and perinatology addressed issues of the safety of the neonate, enabling obstetric anesthesia to safely and dramatically reduce the pain of childbirth.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0036-1585409

    View details for PubMedID 27434694

  • 49 Mathoura Road Geoffrey Kaye's Center of Excellence for the Australian Society of Anaesthetists ANESTHESIOLOGY Edwards, M. L., Waisel, D. B. 2016; 124 (6): 1222-1229


    Geoffrey Kaye, M.B.B.S. (1903 to 1986), was a prominent Australian anesthetist, researcher, and educator who envisioned that anesthesia practice in Australia would be comparable to European and American anesthesia practice during the 1940s and 1950s. Kaye's close relationship with Francis Hoeffer McMechan, M.D., F.I.C.A. (1879 to 1939), which began when Kaye left a favorable impression on McMechan at a meeting of the Australasian Medical Congress in 1929, eventually led Kaye to establish an educational center for the Australian Society of Anaesthetists at 49 Mathoura Road, Toorak, Melbourne, Australia, in 1951. The center served as the "Scientific Headquarters" and the Australian Society of Anaesthetists' official headquarters from 1951 to 1955. Although anesthesia's recognition as a specialty was at the heart of the center, Kaye hoped that this "experiment in medical education"-equipped with a library, museum, laboratory, workshop, darkroom, and meeting space-would "bring anaesthetists of all lands together" in Australia. The lack of member participation in Kaye's center, however, led Kaye to dissolve the center by 1955. Previous research has documented the history of Kaye's center from correspondence between Kaye and influential American anesthesiologist Paul M. Wood, M.D. (1894 to 1953), from 1939 to 1955. Through letters Kaye sent to American anesthesiologist Paul M. Wood, M.D. (1894 to 1963), the authors see Kaye's detailed plans, design, and intent for the center at 49 Mathoura Road. Comparisons of Kaye's letters to Wood during the 1950s with his letters to Gwenifer Wilson, M.D., M.B.B.S. (1916 to 1988), during the 1980s illustrate a change in Kaye's perceptions regarding the failure of the center.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/ALN.0000000000001082

    View details for PubMedID 26950707

  • Ethics and the practice of anesthesia. AMA journal of ethics Edwards, M. L. 2015; 17 (3): 199-201

    View details for PubMedID 25985473

  • 49 Mathoura Road Geoffrey Kaye's Letters to Paul M. Wood, 1939-1955 ANESTHESIOLOGY Edwards, M. L., Waisel, D. B. 2014; 121 (6): 1150-1157


    From 1930 to 1955, Geoffrey Kaye, M.B.B.S., was one of the most influential anesthetists in Australia. In 1951, he opened a center of excellence for Australian anesthesia at 49 Mathoura Road, Toorak, Melbourne, which Kaye affectionately called "The Anaesthestists' Castle" and "49." "49" was designed to foster the educational, research, and administrative activities that would allow Australian anesthesia to reach the level of practice and professionalism found in Europe and America. Kaye wholly financed the venture and lived on the second floor of the building. During his world-wide travels, Kaye had developed a friendship with Paul M. Wood, M.D., the originator of the American Library-Museum now known eponymously as the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology. Through the letters Kaye sent to Wood, the authors see Kaye's perception of the events surrounding the rise and fall of "49." Kaye's early letters were optimistic as he discussed the procurements and provisions he made for "49." His later letters exhibit frustration at the lack of participation by members of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. Kaye was truly a visionary for his time. He believed that the diffusion center which "49" was to become was not only realistic and achievable but also necessary if Australian anesthesia was to gain international prominence comparable to anesthesia in Europe and North America. In the end, the failure of "49" left Kaye estranged from Australian anesthesia for many years. How this estrangement affected Australian anesthesia is unknown.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000473

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345430700006

    View details for PubMedID 25285946

  • From bench to bedside: Claude Bernard, Henry K. Beecher, MD, and science in anesthesia. Bulletin of anesthesia history Edwards, M. L. 2013; 31 (1): 9-11


    Success with the medical management of pain grew tremendously after William Thomas Green Morton's successful demonstration of surgical anesthesia in 1846: Henry K. Beecher's clinical and experimental contributions to anesthesia during and after World War II had a profound impact on how clinicians and experimentalists study human populations in medicine. Beecher found that pain research required human subjects because pain was different for each individual. Nearly 100 years before Beecher, Claude Bernard similarly considered the complexity and uniqueness of human research subjects. Bernard and Beecher both preferred animal subjects in research when appropriate, but suggested that studies involving some mental, bodily, and cognitive processes required human subjects. Although Beecher and Bernard's lives did not overlap, these two men similarly confronted the issues of complexity in human and animal research, particularly in those phenomena involving higher cognitive functions.

    View details for PubMedID 24205750