Vandana Rao, MD, MPH

Dr. Rao is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who joined our team in December, 2015.  She is scheduling new patients now.  

She has expertise in diagnosing and treating depression, mood problems, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and behavioral issues associated with cognitive and developmental delays and other psychiatric illnesses.  In addition to skill at prescribing psychiatric medication, Dr. Rao is well versed in psychotherapy techniques and incorporates them into her interactions with her patients.  She successfully trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and individual psychodynamic therapy at UTSW.  She also received a certificate in family therapy from the Momentous Institute in Dallas and participated in family therapy at the Family Studies Center at UT Southwestern.  

Dr. Rao has had the privilege of taking care of people from all walks of life and of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds.  Experience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) enabled Dr. Rao to work with patients at Children’s Medical Center at Dallas, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, Parkland Health and Hospital System,  Metrocare Services, and the Dallas VA Medical Center. Over the course of her career she has taught numerous medical students, prepared and presented at conferences, and supervised ancillary staff at the hospitals and clinics.

Dr. Rao completed 3 years of residency training in general adult psychiatry and then additional 2-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry after completing medical school.  She is a member of American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, and the North Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians.  Prior to entering the field of psychiatry, Dr. Rao worked overseas as a general practitioner for 4 years and also completed a 2-year externship in internal medicine in Houston, Texas. This medical experience gives her an advantage when managing psychiatric issues in medically complicated patients.  

Earlier in her career, Dr. Rao obtained a Master's in Public Health (MPH) from the Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and she worked an as epidemiologist for the City of Houston, Texas.     Dr. Rao is a competent and cutting edge physician;  she realizes that psychiatry is a very dynamic field and keeps up to date on new advances to best benefit her patients. She has been successfully using genetic testing to better tailor treatments as these tests have recently become available.  She is also monitoring exciting advances in genome wide studies and molecular pathological epidemiology.

Dr. Rao is married to an emergency room physician and is the mother of beautiful 10-year-old girl. Her husband is part owner and operator of Advance ER in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow neighborhoods.  While her husband grew up in Texas and went to medical school in Missouri she grew up in Asia and attended medical school in Europe before moving to the US for postgraduate studies and establishing her career.  Her personal challenges and experiences provide enormous depth to her personality.  She firmly believes that all individuals and families have their own unique strengths and focuses on identifying and capitalizing on them during treatment.

Dr. Rao is empathic, approachable, caring and works in the best interests of her patients. Her focus is on educating her families about choices, providing them appropriate tools to help them to resolve their problems, and providing pharmacological support when needed. She is humble and listens effectively to address concern and prescribes medications judiciously.  She has a holistic approach to patient’s problems and when appropriate she is able to collaborate effectively with other professionals like other physicians, therapists and counselors.  


Education, Experience and Credentials:

Vinnitsa Medical Institute, Vinnitsa, Ukraine: Degree in Russian Language

Kharkov State Medical University, Kharkov, Ukraine: Doctor of Medicine with Honors.

Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, Delhi, India: House staff officer in the ER

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:  Masters in public health with focus on Health Policy.

Internship with the Department of Immunizations, Health and Human services, Houston, TX

Epidemiologist, Bureau of Epidemiology, Health and Human Services, Houston, TX

Externship in Internal Medicine, Houston, Texas

University of Texas at Southwestern, Dallas, Texas:  Residency in Psychiatry and

Fellowship in Child and Adolescent psychiatry.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Board Certified 2014


Oral presentations:

Establishing a group private practice, business plan presentation to Department of

Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002

How to manage and develop disease surveillance protocol for the ever-incoming

Hepatitis C case reports.  Bureau of Epidemiology, 2003

Catatonia in psychotic patients: signs, symptoms and management on the inpatient

units. Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Dallas VA Medical Center, 2012

Treatment of affective symptoms in patients with Parkinsonism, Consult Grand

Rounds, UTSW, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Parkland Health and

Hospital System, Dallas, Texas, 2013

Complex Psychiatric case from Bio-Psychosocial perspective, Consult grand rounds,

Childrens Medical center, Dallas, Texas, 2014

Case report of a 17-year-old patient with relapsing NMDA encephalitis. Unique

challenges in the diagnosis and best treatment approaches. Didactics, Childrens

Medical center, Dallas, Texas, 2014. This case report is currently pending


Antipsychotics: indications, pharmacology, side effects in child and adolescent

populations. Didactics, Childrens Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, 2015