Meet Our Physicians

University Behavioral Center sets a standard of excellence with the highly skilled medical staff who oversee the care of each individual. We believe in helping people through individualized treatment.


Shaheda B. Akhtar, MD

Dr. Akhtar serves as the University Behavioral Center Medical Director and is a Child Psychiatrist who specializes in treating individuals dealing with trauma.  Dr. Akhtar provides outpatient psychiatric care for children and adolescents here at UBC and has been in practice for 36 years.  Dr. Akhtar has been with University Behavioral Center since it opened in 1989.  During this time she has watched her patients grow and thrive bringing her much joy over the years of dedicated service with the hospital.  Dr. Akhtar attended medical school in India and worked in several hospitals including Duke University, The Children’s Psychiatric Institute and completed her residency in North Carolina.

“As psychiatrists we need to do a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation by using the biopsychosocial model and then provide a unique and individualized treatment plan.  We have a responsibility to look at a person as a whole and help them achieve their highest potential in personal, social and academic aspects of their lives.”


Sajid Hafeez, MD

Sajid Hafeez ,M.D. is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who serves as Medical Director of the Acute Care Baker Act Unit here at the University Behavioral Center.  He has also served as UBC’s Medical Director of the long term adolescent residential units.  In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Central Florida.  Dr Hafeez received his adult psychiatry and residency training at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.  He received his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship training at the New York Medical College and at Children’s National Medical Center of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Individuals should not be afraid to get help for mental illness.


Saleh M. Parvez, MD

Dr. Parvez provides in-patient and out-patient psychiatric services to our adult residents here at University Behavioral Center.  Dr. Parvez has been in practice for 11 years and specializes in adult psychiatry with a strong interest in schizophrenia diagnoses.  Dr. Parvez attended Medical School in Bangladesh where he grew up and completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma.

“It is important to understand the neuroscience behind mental health disorders.  It is not always pure somatic nor Freudian.   Natural history, culture and the environment affect the pathology of the disease.  My personal philosophy is that one cannot have a total bill of good health without having a sound mental health.  There is no health without mental health.”


Vidhyalakshmi V. Jaishankar, MD

Dr. Jaishankar provides inpatient and outpatient services at UBC for children, adolescents and women.  Dr. Jaishankar is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry and general psychiatry and has been in practice for over 10 years.  She specializes in ADHD treatment, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

“Having a diagnosis of a mental health disorder is no different than being given a diagnosis of any other medical condition.  There should not be a stigma regarding individuals with mental health diagnoses.  Everyone deserves to be respected.”  She also believes in the biopsychosocial model of treatment which includes medical, psychological and social aspects of wellness.  A combination in each area will be most beneficial to the individual.”


Syed H. Abbas MD

Dr. Abbas works with the adult patients on our substance abuse unit here at University Behavioral Center.  Dr. Abbas specializes in substance abuse, forensic psychiatry and has his fellowship in geriatric psychiatry.  Dr. Abbas went to school in the Dominican Republic and has been in the field for  15 years.

“I see psychiatry as a pure science that is evidence based.  What happens inside a patient’s brain and body has science behind it.”


Iftikhar Rasul MD

Dr. Rasul works with our adult patients here at UBC and specializes in geriatric psychiatry.  He completed his fellowship at University of Miami and attended his residency at University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas.

“When you fix the brain you help fix the body.  Research shows that mental health affects all parts of the body.”