Expert Profile - Jada Turco
Dr. Jada Turco
MD, Integrative Psychiatrist
Associate Clinical Professor at NYU School of Medicine
Board Certified in both Psychiatric Medicine in addition to Integrative and Holistic Medicine
Additionally trained at the NYU Mind Body Medicine Program
Certified Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner
Selected as a “Top Psychiatrist” in New York, NY by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals
Listed in the 2014 edition of the “Leading Physicians of the World.”
Dr. Jada Turco’s Bio:
I am a physician who is dual board certified in Psychiatric Medicine in addition to Integrative and Holistic Medicine. I am a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Holistic Medical Association. I work with adults and adolescents who are interested in an innovative and integrative approach to mental health that combines traditional therapies with complementary approaches. I offer a comprehensive and holistic approach that includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
I received my medical doctorate from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed my residency training in Psychiatry at the NYU College of Medicine.
I have additional formal training and practice expertise from the; NYU Reproductive Psychiatry Program, NYU Mind Body Medicine program, NYU Dialectic Behavior program, NYU WTC Health Program for First Responders on 9/11, Bellevue Hospital Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program
In addition to my formal training and vast experience as a Medical Doctor, I have spent decades studying various Complementary modalities.
I am a certified Massage Therapist, Reiki Practitioner. I have studied and practiced Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and various other Meditation and Mindfulness Techniques.
I am an avid learner and active member in the Integrative Community, and a regular attendee of their conferences and educational programs. I am committed to education and maintain a faculty position at NYU School of Medicine as an Associate Clinical Professor where I taught an Integrative Psychiatry course for resident physicians.
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to pursue a career in psychiatry?
I have an innate interest in people’s stories and have always wanted to know what drove people to behave in certain ways, or how they were influenced by factors such as physical health, childhood trauma and upbringing, etc.. I would say that both of my parents struggled with PTSD with different etiologies and did not seek formal treatment. I think that with the awareness that we have today about mental illness they would have. I wonder often about how their lives and thus the lives of myself and siblings would have been different had they had access to care, without stigma.
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? How, if at all did those events impact the way you view how our current system teaches us to treat patients with mental health challenges?
I am a strong advocate for reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and firmly believe in seeking treatment. As I often tell my patients when presenting medication and supplement options, that I am not a believer in unnecessary suffering. That if you are symptomatic and we have a way to treat those symptoms that we should. I try to normalize mental illness and teach people to view it as no different then any other physical diagnosis that may be given.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychiatry, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
So, I was fortunate to be raised with a mother who focused on alternative or holistic treatment. My friends and colleagues are shocked when I tell them that I never took an antibiotic as a child! I thought about pursuing various complementary fields in the medical profession, but decided on an MD for the flexibility it affords and the breadth of training.
As a new attending working in the ED I experienced severe burnout when we had a staffing crisis and I was working too many hours and was overburdened with clinical and administrative work. Fortunately, I had a wonderful department chair that recognized what was going on and supported my taking an extended vacation, what amounted to about 2 months. During that time, I got healthy. I saw a Naturopath and was diagnosed with systemic Candida. I went through her recommended diet and supplement protocol and have never felt better. My mood symptoms disappeared, I had more energy, and thankfully no more “brain fog.” I also dove into my spiritual practice, attending mindfulness workshops, learning to love and be comfortable with myself, and visiting my favorite ashram in the Bahamas. It was during this time that I really realized how powerful Integrative medicine is. It literally saved my life. I began to dream of ways that I could offer this to my patients. Fortuitously, a dear friend and colleague heard of a psychologist looking to start a practice composed of practitioners interested in integrative healing from all different modalities. Within the year I started my own practice with a colleague, called The Center For Integrative Psychiatry and joined the Center for Integrative Practices in 2011. While there I had the opportunity to work with chiropractors, an acupuncturist who specialized in Chinese Medicine, Therapists, Psychologists, all of whom incorporated alternative treatments. I think this model of health care delivery is so important for our patients.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I have extensively studied and practiced both traditional and complementary approaches to health and healing. My focus is on the individual, recognizing that each person has their own unique set of experiences, needs, and treatment goals. I incorporate my knowledge of general medicine, psychopharmacology, nutritional neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, metaphysics, Eastern religion and philosophy, and mind body medicine or mindfulness.
I offer psychopharmacology, nutritional counseling, nutraceuticals, psychotherapy, mindfulness, lifestyle recommendations, and various stress reduction techniques.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
Most people love the idea and are interested in learning more. Some more traditionally oriented physicians are not as receptive to the idea. I often let them know that my practice utilizes only evidenced based approaches and use it as an opportunity to educate.