Officer Biographies

Sanjai Rao, M.D., President

Dr. Rao is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of California, San Diego.  He received a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.  He received his medical degree from USCD and completed his adult psychiatry residency at UCSD.  Dr. Rao is double -board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Since graduating, his primary clinical role has been as an inpatient attending psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in San Diego. He is both an Associate Training Director and the Site Director at the VA Medical Center for the UCSD Psychiatry Residency.

Dr. Rao has done research in and published on multiple areas, including treatment resistant depression, depression and delirium in palliative care, anxious depression, side effects of antipsychotic medications, and residency training.

Guided by a strong interest in education, Dr. Rao coordinates large parts of the residency curriculum and has received a number of teaching awards based on his clinical and academic work, including the APA Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Residency Teaching, and was inducted as an APA Distinguished Fellow in 2017.

As President, he will contribute to SDPS, especially in the areas of training and education.

Anoop Karippot, M.D., FAPA, FAASM, President-Elect

Dr. Anoop Karippot is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in San Diego, CA. He received his medical degree from the Armed Forces Medical College. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Bingham Child Guidance Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. . He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Karippot is also certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine and a Registered Polysomnographer.

Dr. Anoop Karippot is the Medical Director of AKANE Institute of Behavioral Medicine ( ). He is the Vice-Chief of Psychiatry at Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego and Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. He serves as Medical Director for the Palomar Medical Center Sleep Disorders program at Palomar Pomerado Health, Escondido, CA. He is the current chair of San Diego Psychiatric Society Child and Adolescent section. He is also an elected Board member to the California Sleep Society. He is one of the founding members and the Past- President of the Pennsylvania Sleep Society. Most recently, Dr. Karippot has held faculty appointments in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sleep Medicine and Adult Psychiatry and at Penn State University Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA and University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY. He now has medical staff privileges at Scripps Mercy Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Palomar Pomerado Health, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, and Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Karippot started practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Adult Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine in the San Diego County since 2010. Dr. Karippot has focused his research and clinical practice on the integration of psychiatry and sleep medicine with emphasis on early detection, prevention and management of chronic illness like depression, ADHD, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and their association with academic dysfunction, obesity and poor quality of life.

Dr. Karippot is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Psychiatric Association. He has been an active member of Standards of Practice Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine with contributions to several current practice parameters in sleep medicine. He has numerous publications, abstracts, book chapters and oral presentations to his credit on various topics in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and sleep disorders. Dr. Karippot is an avid speaker and has given presentation on various topics of psychiatric illness and sleep medicine for local organizations in San Diego and has chaired educational seminars at national and international conferences.

Ben Hidy, M.D., Immediate Past-President

Dr. Ben Hidy received his BA in International Studies from Texas A & M University and graduated in 2010 from medical school from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.   He completed his psychiatric training at UC Davis in 2014.  Dr. Hidy is a psychiatrist at Palomar Health and also serves on the Palomar Health System Ethics Committee and Medical Staff Peer Review Committee at Palomar Medical Center, Poway.

Dr. Hidy is honored to receive Palomar Health Physician of the Year for 2017.

He strongly believes that being involved in organized medicine provides us, as physicians, a greater voice to influence healthcare and legislative policy. Collectively, we are better equipped to advocate for the health of our patients and society, project ourselves as leaders and role models in our communities, and to promote educational endeavors to optimize clinical excellence amongst our members.

Ronak Jhaveri, M.D., Vice-President

Dr Jhaveri graduated with a BS in Biology and AA in Management from the University of California, Irvine in 2006.  He received his medical degree from Ross University School Of Medicine in 2012.  Dr. Jhaveri finished his general adult psychiatry training at the University of Connecticut in 2017 and is currently a fellow in the UCSD Community Psychiatry program.  He serves on council because our coordinated efforts are greater than the sum of each of our individual efforts.  Organized care sees a greater sustained benefit to the whole population and is less likely to reinvent the wheel.

Jessica Thackaberry, M.D., Secretary

Jessica Thackaberry, M.D. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Central Washington University, Dr. Thackaberry entered the University of Washington Medical School.  She was a member of Omega Delta Kappa Honor Society from 2005-11 and received the SPARKX/CHAP award in 2009-10 for her activities serving the underserved.  Dr. Thackaberry is on the faculty of UCSD.  Her interests outside of work include music (piano and guitar), movies, playing board games and hanging out with family.

Manuel Garcia, M.D., Treasurer

Dr. Manuel "Manny" Garcia earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH.  He did a flexible internship at the Cleveland Clinic, then went on to complete his residency in psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California in San Diego.   Dr. Garcia has past work experience as a Medical Director on the Neuroscience Medical Liaison teams of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.  He has also served as a Councilor for SDPS Council.  Currently, Dr. Garcia is a Medical Science Liason for Mylan Pharmaceuticals.