Garrett Watanabe, MD


Medical Degree:
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
San Mateo County General Hospital
Stanford Hospital and Clinics
American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
San Jose

I am very excited to be part of BACA. I believe that attaining mental health should be a collaborative process between the child/adolescent, his or her family, and the clinician. The basis for any successful treatment is a strong and trusting therapeutic alliance or relationship. Together, we will understand your child’s particular strengths and needs and then determine and review the best treatment options available. Born in San Jose, California, I am a native to the Bay Area. While in high school, I first decided that I wanted to follow in my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and become a physician. It seemed a natural career path for me as it blended my interests in science and in helping others. At Stanford University, I obtained my B.A. in Human Biology. I then moved to Ohio to attend medical school at the University of Cincinnati. In medical school, regardless of what clinic, rotation, or hospital floor I was working on, I always found myself most interested in listening to and understanding my patients’ life stories and the effect of their illness on their overall well-being and mental health. It was obvious that psychiatry was the specialty for me.

After four winters in the Midwest, it was then time to move back to the Bay Area. I completed my general psychiatry training at the San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Training program, which provided opportunities to learn in a number of community-based clinics and to work with underserved populations. I then completed a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. While there, I first met and formed a friendship with Dr. Tarshis who founded the Bay Area Children’s Association and is the current medical director.

Following my training, I worked as a staff psychiatrist at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, California for more than two years. While there, I managed a diverse caseload and enjoyed time supervising rotating child psychiatry fellows. I then decided to move to the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Center at Kaiser-San Jose Medical Center to work with this increasingly recognized population. During my time there, I supervised post-doctoral psychology fellows, provided consultation as part of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, and eventually became the director of this specialized evaluation center. After some time, however, I began to miss working with a wider range of clinical issues and spending the majority of my day providing direct clinical care on an ongoing basis (as opposed to administrative duties).

When I am not working at BACA, I also spend time working at a residential facility supporting children, adolescents, and their families. Outside of work, I enjoy fishing, golf, and basketball. I am an avid fan of the Giants, 49ers, and Warriors. Most of all, I enjoy spending my time with my wife and two children.