Omar Elhaj, MD

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Omar Elhaj is a psychiatrist who provides care to patients with complex clinical presentations, particularly treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders. His areas of interest include mood and anxiety disorders, cognitive disorders, PTSD, addiction disorders, dual diagnoses, and interventional psychiatry.

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More about Omar Elhaj, MD

Dr. Omar Elhaj is a psychiatrist fascinated by the intersection of the brain and mind, a passion ignited early in his medical school journey. He provides care to patients with complex clinical presentations, particularly treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders. His areas of interest include mood and anxiety disorders, cognitive disorders, PTSD, addiction disorders, dual diagnoses, and interventional psychiatry. Dr. Elhaj’s extensive experience and specialized knowledge enable him to offer comprehensive and effective treatments tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

Dr. Elhaj’s approach to patient care is holistic and collaborative. He engages his patients as partners in designing and delivering their treatment plans, ensuring they are actively involved in their mental health journey. His empathetic nature and commitment to patient-centered care create a supportive environment where patients feel heard and valued.

Joining Mindful Health Solutions was a natural choice for Dr. Elhaj, as he was drawn to the organization’s pioneering focus on interventional psychiatry and its dedication to evidence-based approaches. With over 26 years of experience, he has developed a keen interest in combining cutting-edge interventional tools like TMS and esketamine with traditional treatments such as medications and psychotherapy. This integration allows him to offer innovative and effective solutions for patients struggling with difficult-to-treat mood disorders. Dr. Elhaj’s commitment to excellence in patient care and his empathetic approach make him a valuable addition to the Mindful Health Solutions team.

Personal Interests

Living in the Bay Area, Dr. Elhaj loves the diversity in people, cultures, and climates. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, biking, playing tennis, watching independent movies at the Roxie Theater, and traveling the world.

Education & Experience

Dr. Elhaj earned his medical degree from Damascus University and completed his residency in general adult psychiatry at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also completed fellowships in addiction psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and a NIMH-sponsored research fellowship in therapeutics of bipolar mood disorders at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

As a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, he is actively involved in teaching, mentoring, and research. Dr. Elhaj has served as co-principal investigator for several NIMH and industry-sponsored bipolar disorder studies, has presented nationally on various mental health issues, and has published thirty-seven peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, reflecting his dedication and contributions to the field.

Certifications & Memberships

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Certified
  • Member of the American Medical Association
  • Member of the American Psychiatric Association
  • Member of the American Association for Physician Leadership


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  1. Vogt EL, Mahmoud H, Elhaj O: Telepsychiatry: Implications for Psychiatrist Burnout and Well-Being. Psychiatr Serv. 2019 Feb 28:appips201800465. doi: 10.1176/
  2. Kemp DE, Gao K, Ganocy SJ, Elhaj O, Bilali SR, Conroy C, Findling RL, Calabrese JR: A 6-month, double-blind, maintenance trial of lithium monotherapy versus the combination of lithium and divalproex for rapid-cycling bipolar disorder and Co-occurring substance abuse or dependence. J Clin Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;70(1):113-21.
  3. Gao K, Verduin ML, Kemp DE, Tolliver BK, Ganocy SJ, Elhaj O, Bilali S, Brady KT, Findling RL, Calabrese JR: Clinical correlates of patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder and a recent history of substance use disorder: a subtype comparison from baseline data of 2 randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 69(7):1057-63, 2008.
  4. Kemp DE, Hirschfeld RM, Ganocy SJ, Elhaj O, Slembarski R, Bilali S, Conroy C, Pontau J, Findling RL, Calabrese JR: Screening for bipolar disorder in a county jail at the time of criminal arrest. J Psychiatr Res. 2008 Jul;42(9):778-86.
  5. Sajatovic M, Elhaj O, Youngstrom EA, Bilali S, Rapport DJ, Ganocy SJ, Calabrese JR: Treatment adherence in patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder: Results from a clinical trials setting. J Clin Psychopharmacol 27(4):412-4, 2007.
  6. Calabrese JR, Elhaj O, Gajwani P, Gao K: Clinical highlights in bipolar depression – focus on atypical antipsychotics. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 66 Suppl 5:26–33, 2005.
  7. Gajwani P, Forsthoff A, Muzina D, Amann B, Gao K, Elhaj O, Shelton MD, Calabrese JR, Grunze H: Antiepileptic drugs in mood disordered patients with a focus on lamotrigine. Epilepsia 46 (s4):38-44, 2005.
  8. Muzina D, Elhaj O, Gajwani P, Gao K, Shelton MD, Calabrese JR: Lamotrigine and Antiepileptic Drugs as Mood Stabilizers in Bipolar Disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Supplementum (426):21-8, 2005.
  9. Hatters-Friedman S, Shelton MD, Elhaj O, Youngstrom EA, Rapport DJ, Packer KA, Bilali SR, Jackson KS, Sakai HE, Resnick PJ, Findling RL, Calabrese JR: Gender Differences in Criminality: Bipolar Disorder With Co-Occurring Substance Abuse. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 33:2:118-195, 2005.
  10. Gao K, Gajwani P, Elhaj O, Calabrese JR: Typical and Atypical Antipsychotics in Bipolar Depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 66(11):1376-85, 2005
  11. Calabrese JR, Vieta E, El-Mallakh R, Findling RL, Youngstrom EA, Elhaj O, Gajwani P, Pies R: Mood state at study entry as predictor of the polarity of relapse in bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry 56(12):957-63, 2004.
  12. Calabrese, JR; Shelton, MD; Rapport, DJ; Kimmel, SE; Elhaj, O: Long-Term Treatment of Bipolar Disorder with Lamotrigine. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 63 Suppl 10:18-22, 2002.

Invited Book Chapters

  1. Mahmoud, H., Elhaj, O.,McDermott, M. (2022). The Teleclinician. In: Mahmoud, H., Naal, H., Whaibeh, E. (eds) Essentials of Telebehavioral Health. Springer, Cham.
  2. Calabrese JR, Shelton MD, Elhaj O, Gao K, Gajwani P: Lamotrigine. [Chapter]. In. Schatzberg A, Nemeroff C (Eds): Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2nd American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. Arlington, VA. 2006.
  3. Muzina DJ, Elhaj O, Gajwani P, Gao K, Shelton MD, Calabrese JR: Advances
    in Treatment of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorders. [Chapter]. In. Ketter TA (Ed): Advances in Treatment of Bipolar Disorders. American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. Arlington, VA. 2005.
  4. Elhaj O, Calabrese JR: Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder. [Chapter]. In. Marneros A, Goodwin F (Eds): Bipolar Disorders: Rapid Cycling, Mixed States, and Atypical Forms. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK. 2005.

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