About Savita G. Bhakta, MD
Savita G. Bhakta, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in evaluating and treating college students and transitional age youth (TAY). She believes in holistic management and focuses on the use of pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy along with mindfulness, yoga and healthy lifestyle habits.
She is an associate professor and interim medical director of the UC San Diego Health's College Mental Health Program (CMHP) which provides comprehensive mental health care for UC San Diego college students.
In her role, Dr. Bhakta instructs medical students, residents and fellows. Her research focuses on using virtual reality technology to identify predictive biomarkers of treatment response in patients with chronic psychotic disorders.
She is the founder of the virtual reality therapy clinic at UC San Diego Health's La Jolla outpatient psychiatric clinic and provides virtual reality therapy for CMHP patients to treat specific phobias, such as fear of flying, public speaking, and heights.
She earned her medical degree from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital (LTMMC & GH) in Mumbai, India and completed her psychiatry residency at LTMMC & GH before moving to Yale University, New Haven for a postdoctoral research fellowship. She then completed psychiatry residency at Northwell Health/Hofstra University-Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., before moving to San Diego for a Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
Dr. Bhakta has received several foundational and institutional grants and is currently funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) R21 grant. She has authored and co-authored more than 35 articles in high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as Neuropsychopharmacology, Psychopharmacology and Schizophrenia Research.
Dr. Bhakta is member of the American Psychiatric Association, and serves as the membership chair for the San Diego Psychiatric Society.
Outside of work, Dr. Bhakta enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. She speaks English, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Behavioral and Mental Health.
- Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, India
- Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai, India
- Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY
- San Diego VA Medical Center, San Diego CA
Date Joined Staff
Conditions and Treatments
- Cognitive-Enhancing Therapeutics for Schizophrenia
- Mental Health for College Students
- Working with Transitional Age Youth