Dr. Irby is a Board-Eligible Psychiatrist whose focus is on Depression and Mood Disorders. He has a special interest in trauma, teens/young adults, group dynamics, cultural and gender/sexuality issues in mental health, and lifestyle/alternative modalities.
During medical school, Dr. Irby wrote his master’s thesis on the various forms of stigma felt by patients with HIV who were receiving care at a clinic in Oakland, CA. He interviewed patients and explored how the health care system may perpetuate stigma and shame felt by these patients. It was this exploration and listening to their stories that led him towards psychiatry, where he knew he would have the opportunity to spend time with patients, listen to them, and help them with their various struggles.
In working with patients, he seeks to collaborate with each individual in a manner that centers upon their unique needs and values. For Dr. Irby, mental health care is contingent upon each individual’s unique story. He loves thinking about how the mind works and learning from each patient in a collaborative approach to enhance mental and physical well-being. He especially appreciates patients who ask questions, are committed to change, and are willing to teach him about their individual experiences and needs.
Dr. Irby was first exposed to interventional psychiatry and to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in his residency. It interested him because it is a flexible and powerful treatment that has few adverse effects and offers the possibility for recovery to individuals for whom medications have not been as helpful as hoped. Dr. Irby believes it can also be an excellent component of integrated treatment with psychotherapy and/or medication.
He joins Mindful Health Solutions in the Fall of 2020.
Dr. Irby is an East Coast transplant and recently completed fifteen years in the Bay Area. He loves the diversity, natural beauty and openness to new ideas that the Bay Area offers. He is passionate about music, spending time outdoors, reading, exercise, poetry and environmental justice. Having conquered bread baking, he has discovered a passion for making pizza too.
Dr. Irby graduated from Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, with a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in English Literature.
Directly out of college, he joined Teach for America and served as an English Teacher for the Newark Public Schools in Newark., NJ. He implemented daily lessons for approximately 90 ninth and tenth grade high school students. He secured, in conjunction with Teach For America, a grant for needed classroom
books in first year and improved student reading levels by an average of two grade levels in second year. He worked extensively mentoring students as an assistant wrestling coach, adviser to the school newspaper, and chess club founder.
His time teaching gave him time to reflect upon what he wanted to do more permanently, and to consider a path that would allow him to pursue his passion for service. He also had noticed the stress of students. He saw the possibility of medicine as a way to continue to help those in need.
He attended Mills College in Oakland, CA, for their pre-medical program. During his time at Mills, he was a teaching assistant for General Chemistry, and tutored students weeks, assisted with gradiing, and led exam reviews.
He attended UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program for his Doctorate in Medicine. The UCB- UCSF PRIME is a five-year track at the UCSF School of Medicine and the UC Berkeley for students committed to working with urban underserved communities. The program is designed to nurture, support, and equip medical students to carry out their goal of effectively promoting health equity and providing healthcare to urban underserved communities.
During medical school, he held a variety of positions, including serving as a summer research fellow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he worked at a public hospital in Madureira and conducted survey interviews in Portuguese with women on the maternity ward assessing opinions about donating/accessing donated milk. He also served at the Medications & Supplies Co-Coordinator at UC Berkeley Clinic, the medication arm of a comprehensive outreach program for the Berkeley homeless population.
He completely his residency at the San Mateo County Residency Training Program, a comprehensive psychiatry residency program with an emphasis on community psychiatry. During residency, he provided outpatient psychiatric services at Pacific Coast Psychiatric Associates in San Francisco. He also worked at Alta Bates Herrick, via Bay Psychiatric, providing inpatient psychiatry services to patients with a variety of mental illnesses.
Northern California Psychiatric Society Annual Meeting Resident Case Vignette: “Have a Heart: Wielding Clozapine” Napa, CA, March 25, 2017