Dr. Lara is a Board-Certified Adult Psychiatrist with more than fifteen years’ experience. His diverse background includes practicing in both inpatient and outpatient settings with a focus on psychopharmacology and adult mood disorders.
While his childhood dream was always to be a doctor, his interests in college led him to an academic career pursuit. He headed to graduate school focused on English and American Literature, and when writing his dissertation to pursue a PhD, he became interested in the interface between medicine and literature. He was intrigued with how medicine was represented in literature, and shortly after began to pursue his medical studies.
He tends to see himself as a coach in helping his patients overcome their struggles. He guides his patients through a variety of treatment approaches to address their unique needs including pharmacotherapy. He is a highly collaborative physician, and his ideal patient is participatory and not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom of standard treatment approaches, considering themselves a partner in treatment and recovery.
Dr. Lara believes Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) could transform the field of psychiatry as one of several emerging therapy approaches with an evidence-based technology to treat psychiatric illness. He sees it as one of the more promising treatment strategies that continues to emerge, grow and realize great patient outcomes.
He joins TMS Health Solutions in the Fall of 2018.
Dr. Lara likes a combination of aesthetic beauty and physical challenge outside of work, from hiking on picturesque trails to challenging himself in open water swimming venues. He has, in fact, successfully conquered the Alcatraz Island to San Francisco swim several times. He also finds joy on the mat and appreciates the abundance and types of yoga offered in the Bay Area, including hot yoga.
Dr. Lara received his bachelor’s in English Literature with a minor in Biological Sciences from Stanford. He had plans to pursue a career in academia. He went on to Harvard University, where he completed a Master’s in English and American Literature and Language. As he began his dissertation towards a PhD, he found himself intrigued by the connection between medicine and literature, and his full pursuit of medicine began in earnest.
Dr. Lara attended the University of California, Los Angeles (David Geffen) School of Medicine, where he received his Doctor of Medicine. During his preclinical courses, he found psychiatry to be the most intellectually stimulating.
He completed an internship and residency in general adult psychiatry though the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. During this time, he worked in a variety of positions and different facilities, including at Community Solutions in Morgan Hill. Here he was responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of patients in this community mental health clinic, providing medication management in both Spanish and English.
He held leadership positions at the Centro de Bienestar, a community-based mental health clinic in San Jose. He first served as the Chief Psychiatrist and then became Medical Director, where he developed and managed a staff of five psychiatrists; and developed in-house training programs on psychopharmacology for social workers, psychologists and community physicians.
Most recently, he managed patients with mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders in a private practice setting. He was responsible for patient care and had extensive collaboration with community psychologists, social workers and other physicians in providing his patients thorough treatment plans.
Dr. Lara holds a faculty position at the Institute for Brain Potential in Los Altos.
Seminar: “Food For Thought: How Nutrients Affect Mental Health”
Seminar: “Pumped: How To Build A Better Brain Through Exercise and Movement”
Seminar: “The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen: On The Use of Medical and Medicinal Foods”