Pooja Amy Shah, MD
Science ╳ Healer
Doctoring done differently. Dr. Shah is double Board Certified in Integrative Medicine + Family Medicine, licensed to practice medicine + medical acupuncture in New York State, faculty at Columbia University, and a teacher of Eastern mind-body practices.
Education + Experience
A native Texan, Dr. Shah attended the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate and medical education. She completed her residency training at Boston University Medical Center, where she stayed as faculty until 2010.
An Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center since 2011, she currently serves as Director of Integrative Medicine, hospital inpatient faculty, and Director of Musculoskeletal Education at the Center for Family and Community Medicine. There she teaches and sees patients, commonly with chronic pain.
She is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine by the American Board of Physician Specialities (ABPS) and in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). She also currently serves as Education Chair for the national Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, which includes over 70 academic institutions across the U.S., including Columbia University.
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE EDUCATION
Dr. Shah completed Harvard Medical School's International Structural Acupuncture Course for Physicians in 2014. She followed this foundational program with numerous advanced courses, after which she served as a Teaching Assistant for the Harvard course. Dr. Shah is continually refining and honing her medical acupuncture skills through practice, continuing education, mentorship, and reading.
Dr. Shah completed Nalanda Institute's two year Contemplative Psychotherapy course in NYC May 2018. She is now a Nalanda Institute faculty member and just completed teaching the neuroscience and neuropsychology of meditation for the course Meditation Teacher Training in Mindfulness and Loving Kindness (with co-teachers Scott Tusa and Megan Mook), in partnership with The Path and Pure Yoga. She is currently co-teaching Nalanda/The Path’s Meditation Teacher Training in Compassion.
She has studied mindfulness as well as compassion and loving-kindness practices under masters Dr. Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Dr. Joe Loizzo, Dr. Tara Brach, Dr. Miles Neale, Dr. Pilar Jennings, and Dr. Emily Wolf. She completed two courses at Harvard Medical School's Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine under the direction of Dr. Herbert Benson and has studied at Kopan Monastery in Nepal under the instruction of Geshe Tenzin Zopa. Her daily practice combines a combination of mindfulness, pranayama breathing, and compassion-based meditation.
Integrative Medicine, Herbs/Botanicals, Nutrition
Dr. Shah completed the University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine's 200-hour general Integrative Medicine in Residency curriculum and has a solid foundation in the use of medicinal herbs and botanicals. She has also studied and passed the integrative medicine board exam set forth by the American Board of Physician Specialties.
In addition, Dr. Shah has worked with shamanic healing techniques, has a passion for reparative nutrition, and is versed in Ayurvedic philosophy. She is constantly reading, learning, and writing to cultivate her craft and keep up with the latest research in the many facets of integrative medicine.
Dr. Shah uses yoga to inform her work, especially when when working with patients with chronic pain, mental health problems, and stress issues. She has studied and practiced yoga since medical school. Over the last 4 1/2 years, she has completed over 650 hours of yoga at Kula Yoga Project in NYC under senior teachers Nikki Vilella, Jillian Turecki, Schuyler Grant, Alex Auder, and Magi Pierce.
Don't Just Survive, Thrive
Life is about thriving, not just surviving. Just as problems have a root and slowly grow into the symptoms you feel or see, Dr. Shah knows there's no such thing as a "quick fix" or miracle drug. At the same time, she also knows there is an answer to your health concerns. Her mission is to see her patients feel better and flourish. She will listen to you intently and compassionately, and promises to always keep an open, inquisitive mind.
Tailored Treatments, Based in Science
Dr. Shah is a natural-born skeptic. She is always working to create the fine balance between scientific evidence, clinical outcomes (read: what works in real life), and cognitive bias. Eastern medicine has also informed her that there's never a "one size fits all" approach to treatment plans. Every problem is as unique as the person dealing with it, and your mind has a much to do with the issue as your body, environment, and genetics.
Grounded Medical Care
Dr. Shah believes that lab testing is an excellent and necessary addition to good medical care, but is not the fundamental basis of medicine. She is not here to sell you any herbs, products, or specific diets, or to send you off to purchase loads of expensive herbs or supplements from the nearest "health food store." She can help you navigate the current convoluted landscape of "alternative," "holistic," and "integrative" medicine, with its mind-boggling array of exaggerated or plainly false health claims at every corner.
From Chronic Stress to Resilience
Life is complex, and often very challenging. Accumulating chronic stress causes misery and can kill. She wants to help you build a path to health with you, a path that provides you with the tools you need to nourish yourself, cultivate your resilience, sustain your wellness, prevent future illness, and "be your best self," even when things get stressful. Dr. Shah's goal is that you feel great and require less and less assistance from her. She has observed how a small investment in one's health now can stave off chronic disease and potentially huge medical costs in the future.
I know first hand how integrative medicine can come to the rescue when a problem fails to be solved by 'conventional' Western medical treatments. I have been on my own personal health and healing journey and have successfully addressed my own chronic neck pain, weight issues, allergies, serious women's health issue, acne and scalp psoriasis, autoimmune problem, pre-diabetes & elevated cholesterol, knee pain (twice surgically repaired), and anxiety with integrative approaches. If you'd like to know more, just ask!