Vanika Chawla (she/her), M.D., FRCPC is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford. Dr. Chawla completed her medical school training at the University of Calgary and psychiatry residency at the University of Toronto. She completed a fellowship in Student Mental Health at Stanford University. Dr. Chawla works in a variety of clinics with a focus on student mental health, cultural psychiatry and lifestyle psychiatry. She utilizes a combination of integrative treatments including lifestyle changes (sleep, nutrition, exercise), medication management and psychotherapy (ACT, DBT, CBT, psychodynamic), and provides trauma-informed and culturally contextualized care. Her additional clinical and research interests include the integration of therapeutic yoga into mental health care. She is also interested in the use of digital health as a novel and innovative way to increase access to mental health care.

Clinical Focus

  • Psychiatry

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Stanford University Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2022) CA
  • Board Certification: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Psychiatry (2021)
  • Residency: University of Toronto Psychiatry Residency (2021)
  • Medical Education: University of Calgary Office of the Registrar (2016) Canada

All Publications

  • The Future of Yoga for Mental Health Care. International journal of yoga Chawla, V., Brems, C., Freeman, H., Ravindran, A., Noordsy, D. L. 2023; 16 (1): 38-41


    Yoga is an integrated holistic system originating in India that provides a path to alleviate physical, mental, and emotional suffering. Interest in the application of yoga in health care to manage and treat psychiatric conditions has grown. While research and clinical interventions using yoga show promising results for improving mental and emotional well-being, more data are needed. This perspective article summarizes the current evidence on yoga as a treatment for mental health conditions, potential mechanisms of action, future directions, and a call to action for proactive clinical and research agendas for yoga-based interventions in mental health care.

    View details for DOI 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_25_23

    View details for PubMedID 37583539

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10424272

  • Inspire self report scale (ISRS): A feasibility study of a Novel self report scale for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Journal of psychiatric research Chawla, V., Bansal, N., Spelber, D., Desai, A., Frehlich, L., Ballon, J. S., Kalinowski, A., Noordsy, D. L. 2023; 165: 248-253


    Clinician-rated symptom scales are the current standard for outcome measures in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSD) research. There has been growing interest in the development of self-report measures for people with SSD to support measurement-based care and inclusive research. We developed the Inspire Self Report Scale (ISRS), which measures the current magnitude of well-being, mood symptoms, psychosis, negative symptoms and cognition using 10 questions on a Likert or Visual analogue scale (VAS). The main aim of this report was to investigate the correlation and concordance between patient self-report and clinician ratings on the ISRS during a clinical encounter. When ratings were discordant, we sought to identify whether the participant's or psychiatrist's rating was more accurate. The results indicated a moderately strong statistically significant correlation between participant and clinician ratings. There was a moderate concordance between participant and clinician ratings on the ISRS. When the results were discordant, the participant ratings were assessed to be more accurate than the clinician rating over 70% of the time. The ISRS has distinct utility compared to existing scales due to the measurement of present symptom severity, capturing multiple clinical domains, and time efficiency and ease of use. Thus, it may be useful in clinical and research settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2023.05.047

    View details for PubMedID 37531843