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Reasons for Choosing Kaweah Health

Clinical Experience

Kaweah Health is a large, public, non-profit health care organization with over 400 medical/surgical and 48 psychiatric beds that serves a huge catchment area. Kaweah Health is a Level 3 Trauma Center with a helipad, over 300 staff physicians and over 90 specialists. Annually, the entire hospital has over 27,000 inpatient admissions, 58,000 outpatient appointments and 90,000 Emergency Department visits. Our 48-bed psychiatric program is consistently busy and in high demand for its excellent quality of care. Residents directly participate in program development and quality improvement as well as obtain robust clinical experience and gradually take on progressive responsibility for patients, under the supervision of Faculty Attendings, over the four years of the program.


While Kaweah Health prepares residents for all traditional certification requirements and positions, we place special value on innovation. We utilize new creative models of mental health delivery recommended by the Affordable Care Act such as embedded Outpatient Consult Psychiatrists in primary care medical clinics. Residents interested in medical leadership, change management, quality improvement, medical technology and program development are particularly suited for Kaweah Health. Kaweah Health has received the Computerworld Laureate award for innovation in medical technology for a variety of projects including telemedicine, a 2,500 square foot simulation lab, Sharepoint integration, and a sophisticated electronic medical record that can be securely accessed from any internet connected computer, smart phone, or tablet device. All residents receive a free iPad and high-speed wireless internet connectivity is available throughout each clinical site.


The Kaweah Health patient population is quite diverse with many immigrants and patients from different cultural backgrounds. Global Mental Health and Cultural Psychiatry are key areas of our program specialization. The Central Valley of California is home to specialized subpopulations including immigrant farmworkers from Mexico, Hmong immigrants from Vietnam and various indigenous tribes of the Yokut peoples. Training at Kaweah Health prepares a psychiatrist for working in an exceptionally diverse variety of locations and practices.

Expert Faculty Kaweah Health

Psychiatry faculty members are experienced board certified and award-winning clinicians, educators, researchers, writers, and leaders who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are committed to medical education.

Board Certification

The Kaweah Health Psychiatry Residency Program places special emphasis on preparing residents to successfully complete the ABPN Board examination upon graduation.

Research Kaweah Health

Psychiatry requires each resident to complete a scholarly project during their training experience. GME has a dedicated Research Director for our faculty and residents. Our faculty assists residents in conducting clinical research, publishing case studies, and learning research methodology. For residents particularly interested in teaching and research, we hope to preferentially hire new faculty from among our program graduates giving residents ready access to an academic career. For more information on research at Kaweah Health please visit our Research section.

Career Preparation

Graduates of the Kaweah Health psychiatry residency program will be prepared for jobs in any area of Psychiatry. We anticipate that most of our graduates will secure very desirable job offers early in their PGY-4 year.


Kaweah Health is located deep in the heart of California in a family-friendly, safe community of 125,000 people with an exceptionally low cost of living. Known as the Gateway to the Sequoias, Visalia lies in the center of the San Joaquin Central Valley near the Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks and is a short, weekend excursion to the famous Yosemite National Park. The Central Valley has great shopping, movies, schools, parks, sports, gyms and a famous downtown vintage trolley. Visalia has a well-known Farmer’s Market, over 200 restaurants and was in the top six finalists for the Rand McNally Best Small Town Food competition. Visalia boasts something for everyone including the annual Blues, Brews and BBQ concert series as well as the Tulare County Symphony at the Fox Theatre. In addition, Visalia has an active popular music scene. In addition, we have popular Visalia Rawhide Class A professional baseball games, the Chinese Cultural Center, Renaissance Faire, New Years Day Polar Bear Dip, Sprint Car Racing, multiple Theatres and a busy 100,000 square foot Convention Center. Local weather is pleasant (except for our ‘hot’ month of August) and outdoor activities are common including hiking, biking, golfing, camping, fishing, boating, or skiing. Though Visalia is ranked as the 200th largest city in the U.S. and public transportation is readily available, traffic jams are quite uncommon and travelling between clinical sites is rarely more than a few minute’s drive. Visalia sits in the middle of California and is a four hour drive to either Los Angeles or San Francisco and a two hour drive west to the beach. Quick commuter flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas leave daily from the Visalia airport and flights to major national locations from the nearby Fresno International Airport.


Kaweah Health Psychiatry emphasizes that to be effective healers residents must take care of their wellness. Some of the ways we accomplish this are:

  • Residents are allowed time off for personal appointments and encouraged to attend therapy regularly.
  • Intensive 4 week, paid, district and program orientation.
  • All residents receive a discounted membership to our 55,000 square foot Kaweah Health Lifestyle Center (health club) conveniently located just steps away from the Psychiatric Hospital.
  • The program has budgeted funds and protected time to allow for Resident Activities and a Program Retreat organized by the Resident led Social Committe.
  • The program provides dedicated and protected time for Resident Process Group.
  • The Program Director, Program Coordinator and all faculty have an open door policy.
  • Residents are members of Tulare County Medical Society, and have access to confidential mental health services and legal assistance by representatives not associated with GME.