Rania Awaad


Bio:   Rania Awaad, M.D., is a practicing Psychiatrist based at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and pursues her clinical practice through the department's community psychiatry track. She is also a researcher and the Director of the Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab where she mentors and oversees multiple lines of research focused on Muslim mental health. She completed her psychiatric residency training at Stanford Hospital and Clinics where she also pursued a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work.

Through community partnerships established by the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, she is currently the Psychiatric Director of the El Camino Women's Medical Group (Mountain View and San Jose) where she pursues her interest in women's mental health. Additionally, through another community partnership with the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, she serves as the Clinical Director of the Bay Area branch of the Khalil Center (Santa Clara), a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology.

Dr. Awaad also has an interest in refugee mental health and has traveled to Amman, Jordan multiple times with the Care Program for Refugees (CPR) sponsored by Al-Alusi Foundation, a local non-profit organization. She has worked on developing and presenting a "train the trainers" curriculum to aid workers and therapists in Amman working with Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Dr. Awaad is passionate about community mental health and lectures widely nationally and internationally, particularly in communities where mental health is highly stigmatized. Recently, she was invited by President Obama to present her work on Muslim Mental Health at a convening at the Department of Health in DC. Dr. Awaad received this invitation as a leader who is nationally recognized for her work on the mental health needs of Muslim populations.

Locally, she hosts a monthly meeting at Stanford for Bay Area Muslim Mental Health Professionals (BAMMHP) that facilities mentorship and networking opportunities for mental health professionals, paraprofessionals and students interested in working with the Muslim population. Her other interests include psycho-spiritual well-being and interfaith work as it relates to mental health. In this vein, Dr. Awaad co-teaches a course to Stanford Psychiatry residents entitled, "Culture and Religion in Psychiatry."

Prior to studying medicine, Dr. Awaad pursued classical Islamic Studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certification (Ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. She is a Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, an American Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls.

Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic in Palo Alto

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (2015)
  • Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine, T32 NIMH Clinical Research Fellowship (2014)
  • Residency: Stanford Hospital and Clinics (2014) CA
  • Medical Education: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (2009) OH

Honors & Awards

  • APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Award, American Psychiatric Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2011-2013)
  • Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award for Humanism and Excellence in Teaching, Arnold P. Gold Foundation (2011)
  • Minorities in Mental Health APA Travel Scholarship, American Psychiatric Association (2008-2009)
  • Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry National Research Service Award (NRSA), American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education and NIMH (2008-2009)
  • Young Investigators Award, American Psychiatric Association (2009)

Administrative Appointments

  • Clinical Director, Khalil Center- Bay Area (2015 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab (2014 - Present)
  • Psychiatric Director, El Camino Women's Medical Group (2015 - Present)