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New director for Counseling and Psychological Services

Head shot of Dr. Bina Pulkit Patel
Photo credit: A. Chan-Geiger/Stanford University

By Elaine C. Ray

Dr. Bina Pulkit Patel, assistant director of clinical services for the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department at Vaden Health Center, has been named the next director of CAPS. She will begin her new role July 16, 2018.

Dr. Patel has served in her current position since 2016, taking a leadership role in the oversight of clinical care and quality improvement processes at CAPS.

She has provided senior–level support and consultation to offices across campus, including Residential Education, the Graduate Life Office and Undergraduate Advising and Research. Before being named assistant director, Dr. Patel served as a staff psychiatrist from 2010 to 2016.

“It’s been a true privilege to work with Stanford’s talented and diverse student body over the past seven years. I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the CAPS team and to collaborate with our campus partners and the student community to ensure that the care we provide aligns with rapidly evolving student needs,” Dr. Patel said.  

She added that her experience at Stanford has “underscored the need to provide students with access to a full spectrum of care. At one end of that spectrum, we must offer more flexible models of care to students with complex mental health needs. And at the other end — as I have learned through my conversations with people across campus — there is a keen wish for CAPS to support the well-being of all students.”

Before her arrival at Stanford, Dr. Patel was an attending child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist on the staff of MIT Medical, a full-service health care center, which at that time, served students as well as employees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Patel’s commitment to college counseling grew out of her interest and experience in working with children, adolescents and adults at key stages of development.

She was previously a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and is currently a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Patel earned her MD from Indiana University. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and her child and adolescent psychiatry training at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital She is board certified both in psychiatry and in child and adolescent psychiatry.

She co-authored two chapters —“Distress and Academic Jeopardy” and

“Family Relationships During the College Years” — in Student Mental Health: A Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Leaders Serving in Higher Education, a recently published book edited by Dr. Laura W. Roberts, chair of Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Stanford conducted a national search for a new director of CAPS after Dr. Ron Albucher, who led CAPS for more than nine years, announced that he would be stepping away as director in last fall.

“In a year-long process that included a national pool of candidates, an executive search firm, and a diligent multidisciplinary search committee, it was repeatedly clear that Dr. Patel is the ideal leader to direct the next iteration of psychiatric and counseling services for the students of Stanford University,” said Dr. James R. Jacobs, executive director of Vaden Health Center.