Dr. Monisha Vasa is a board certified General and Addiction Psychiatrist. Dr. Vasa is a cum laude graduate of Northwestern University, and completed medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She completed her General Psychiatry residency, Chief Residency in Academic Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She has been in private practice since 2008.
Dr. Vasa currently serves as a volunteer clinical faculty member at UC Irvine School of Medicine, within the department of Family Medicine. In this capacity, Dr. Vasa helps train first, third, and fourth year medical students. She is an active member of the Medical Humanities program, where she participates in electives that utilize literature and narrative to support medical education.
Dr. Vasa extends her work with physicians-in-training to her practice. She works with physicians who struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse, work and family balance difficulties, or burnout. Dr. Vasa is especially passionate about supporting physicians in developing a mindfulness based approach to their work, which she believes can help physicians continue to find meaning and sustainability in the practice of medicine. She is also a member of the California Society of Addiction Medicine Physician Well Being Committee.
Dr. Vasa has a passion for working with patients struggling with chronic medical issues, and patients and families who are coping with life limiting illnesses. She serves as a community partner to Shanti OC, a local non-profit that provides support to those living with HIV and AIDS. Similarly, she provides psychiatric care to patients in treatment at Fran’s Place, a local nonprofit organization that provides low cost or free counseling to those living with cancer. Dr. Vasa is trained in dignity therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapy aimed at helping patients and families preserve dignity and quality of life during the last eight weeks of life. She is also currently taking part in a two year training through the Metta Institute, which focuses on the development of a mindfulness based approach to end of life care.
Dr. Vasa is a proud mother of two young children. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing, and is in the process of publishing her first children’s book. She also is an avid long distance runner, and enjoys training for and participating in half and full marathons.
Dr. Vasa’s professional memberships include the American Psychiatric Association, the Orange County Psychiatric Society, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Keep up with Dr. Vasa on her blog, monishavasa.com.