About Me

I am a graduate of Stanford University, Weill Medical College of Cornell University (MD), and Rockefeller University (MS, molecular neuroscience).  I received residency training in adult psychiatry at Stanford Medical Center.  I am experienced in psychopharmacology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and community psychiatry, and I have a special interest in addiction psychiatry and process addictions, particularly eating disorders.

I currently have a private psychiatry practice in Walnut Creek and San Rafael, California.  I provide psychiatric consultation to two local residential treatment centers and I am involved in several research projects with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.  My past roles have included work as a psychiatrist in the Kern County Mental Health System of Care in Bakersfield, California, a psychiatrist  at North Bay Psychiatric Associates in San Rafael, California, and as a therapist and assistant medical director in a residential addiction treatment program in Marin County.  In addition, I was affiliated with the Schuman-Liles Clinic in Oakland, California, for four years, where I practiced outpatient psychiatry in a community mental health setting.

Since March 2012, I have been the Editor-In-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, working closely with Danel Carlat, publisher, and numerous authors to create a monthly CME newsletter for subscribers worldwide.

In the past, I have worked with DBT Associates of the Peninsula in Los Altos, California, as a therapist and DBT skills trainer.  I also worked with the Center for Health Care Evaluation at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, developing more effective ways of prescribing opioids for chronic pain.  I have taught at Stanford University, Stanford Medical School, the California School of Professional Psychology, and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  I am currently on the Board of Directors for Anjna Patient Education, a student organization at Stanford Medical Center dedicated to improving patient education in free clinics in underserved areas.

Originally from Oswego, Illinois, I have lived in New York City and in the Bay Area for many years.  I am an avid runner and reader, and I have a vital interest in health care policy and the evolution of modern psychiatry.

My readers should be aware that I am a former psychiatric patient, in longstanding, continuous recovery for many years.  My experiences as a patient shaped many of my opinions of psychiatric rehabilitation, diagnosis, medication management, and mandatory treatment.  Moreover, today I am keenly aware not only of the benefits of professional diversion and monitoring programs and long-term care, but also of the discrimination that psychiatric patients endure throughout their lives.  Many of these ideas permeate my writings and practice philosophy.

Disclosure:  I receive no compensation for this blog.  As employee of Carlat Publishing, I receive a small stipend, from revenues entirely derived from subscription fees.

Please visit my web site at www.stevebalt.com.  You may also email me at steve@thoughtbroadcast.com.  I do read all emails and comments to this blog, but please accept my apologies if I do not respond directly to you (at least not right away!).

Steve Balt, MD

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18 Responses to About Me

  1. Steve,
    Thanks for your website, which is such a welcomed breath of fresh air. I have actually used the term “checklist psychiatrist” out of frustration upon reading some of the aftercare referrals of patients I see in my practice, prior to discovering it on your website. You’ve obviously devoted much time to what I consider an invaluable and relatively rare voice of reason in our field. Please keep up the great work!
    Sincerely,
    Scott Zentner

  2. DJ Jaffe says:

    Nice to see some original thought in the field.

  3. DJ Jaffe says:

    I just tweeted your site (under @MentalillPolicy ) . You are writing some terrific and original stuff. tx. for it.

  4. Jackie says:

    Dr. Steve,

    I love your blog. It’s on my must-reading list every morning.

    And thank you for always being so kind and respectful to those of us on the patient side of things.

  5. Dear Dr. Balt,

    I enormously appreciate your comments and your website. The information that you are offering is rare and exceptional. I hope that everyone and anyone who reads what you have to offer understands that your ideas are thoughtful, skilled and compassionate.
    Sincerely,

    Stefan P. Kruszewski, MD
    Harrisburg, PA 17110
    July 24th, 2011

  6. Are you on twitter? Wanted to follow you there but couldn’t find a handle.

  7. mike nagy says:

    thanks for the post on the site about lurasidone..agreed!!! what has happen
    ed to our field?…thanks again…mike

  8. A. Bradford, Ph.D. says:

    I am a clinical psychologist employed in an academic medical center, and I found your web site through a post on KevinMD.com. I enjoy your cogent, thoughtful posts and look forward to reading more.

  9. brightforce says:

    I noticed you followed my blog and don’t think I came by to say thank-you! So thanks! Your blog is an excellent read. Lots of posts that really interest me.

  10. Steve, thanks for following my blog. I remember readng your blog post about the marketing blitz for Nuedexta earlier this year after having sold short some stock in Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR). As you pointed out, it was remarkable how far they were willing to go to redefine PBA as a new disease state for which they had the only possible treatment, rather than a syndrome for which multiple existing generic therapies are available. Of course, reality is now catching up to them. It’s amazing to think what better uses there could have been for the hundreds of millions spent on marketing alone. Another example of the “efficient market” at work..

  11. Terri says:

    It’s nice to hear a doc with these views that I have held for many years as a doctorally trained psychotherapist turned family nurse practitioner turned psychiatric nurse practitioner—there are some nurse practitioner’s out there that encompass the biopsychosocial model such as myself. In every field, psychiatry, nurse practitioners there are those that are erudites in their field and those that are less so. I encourage you to open your minds to the NP’s in the world of psychiatry–medical school and your training does not make you the best–it’s just different–my three master’s degrees, residencies and 20 years of clinical experience in various treatment centers, community mental health centers, mobile crisis teams, family therapist teams has made me a positive influence on my patients; the majority get better. I do both therapy and med reviews in 15″ to 30″ believe it or not—it can be done although not ideal–it is what it is–anyways–

    Wanted to let you know that NP’s are not all minimum standards of care–there are those like myself who give competent, superb and the highest standards of care focusing on both complex psychopharmacology and therapeutic modalities. Thought you should be aware of this from an independent NP out there in the world!

  12. jenny says:

    Would love to hear your thoughts on schizoaffective disorder. Will you be writing about this disorder anytime soon?

  13. Dr Bobbi A White says:

    Dear Dr Balr
    I am a retired dentist living wirth my daughter who has a daycare.
    Today, a new family registered theur four yr old to attend. After they left, I noticed on their application firm a permission slip (signed) for us to administer chloridine at noon time.
    I was shocked after looking up the drug and finding out about the Riley case.
    My grandson was forrced to take adderell during his early elementary school years, then he home-schooled and stopped.
    I believe that teachers are just lazy, and I fo not believe in ADHD.
    I feel like giving the kid a placebo, and jkeeping the Chloridine hidden. I realize it’s a complicated situation ethically.
    We are a small licensed daycsre in Florida (6 kids) and I think everyone of these kida is wild.
    If they were in “normal” daycare they would probably be on drugs.

  14. Just saw you took over as editor of TCPR! Very cool.

  15. T May says:

    May I use your head maze image on a library guide?

  16. Scott M Green, MD says:

    I’m a family doctor in Metro Denver. Just completed an online survey about NUEDEXTA, which I had never heard of. Read your article; pretty scary stuff. Any thoughts on the appeal of this as a street drug? Seems like an ideal way to consume large amounts of dextromethorphan, though with more risk of cardiac arrhythmia. Seems extremely dangerous to me. Also concerned about the apparent impending marketing to primary care physicians.

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