Alok Kanojia

PGY4 year has allowed me to integrate complementary and alternative methods (CAM) into psychiatric practice in preparation for life after residency. My year has developed into a balance of clinical, research, and teaching experiences. Clinically, I continue to manage my outpatients with a combination of pharmacologic and therapy interventions. In addition to continued training in high quality, evidence-based care, I am integrating more evidence-based CAM interventions for specific patient populations. With faculty mentorship, I’ve developed a small meditation consult service for the MGH outpatient clinic. I teach meditation to patients with mood or anxiety disorders. I’ll also be conducting a small pilot study in order to assess the efficacy of my meditation intervention. MGH also offers opportunities to collaborate with other subspecialties: I’ll also be teaching meditation to neurology patients at the Institute for Brain Health, working with clinicians and researchers to help patients keep their brains healthy as they age. Working in a more preventive role is refreshing and offers a balance to working with acutely ill patients.

Work at Mass General also extends beyond patients: I’m privileged to be a trainer for the Benson-Henry Institute’s SMART-R program, a curriculum which fosters resilience for residents and physicians at Mass General. Working with the SMART-R program has been an amazing opportunity to work with colleagues from all departments as well as other academic medical centers. As I’m interested in disseminating knowledge about evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, I’ll also be offering meditation training to staff working at McLean Hospital’s residential addiction treatment facilities. While all of the opportunities at MGH/McLean are wonderful, I love to travel, which has become a part of my 4th year. In addition to offering SMART-R trainings to other academic medical centers and traveling to Maine and Central Massachusetts to conduct trainings at McLean,  I’ll be traveling to India in the spring for one month to conduct a scholarly project on the viability of Ayurvedic interventions to treat mental disorders. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with a year that will be devoted to doing the work that I love with different populations – physicians and patients alike. The MGH/McLean program has opened doors to explore my interests, and has supported me in developing a comprehensive clinical, research, and teaching experience to prepare me for life after residency.

Psychiatry blends well with my primary interest of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Some of the brightest minds in CAM conduct groundbreaking research at the Benson-Henry Institute of Mind-Body Medicine. My vision of clinical practice is integrating safe, effective CAM treatments into psychiatry. MGH / McLean has the most qualified group of clinicians and researchers to help me achieve that goal. Whether it be conversations with psychoanalysts trained in meditation or discussions with mind-body researchers about how the mind affects the brain, MGH / McLean serves as a fertile plain to grow my vision of CAM integrated into psychiatry.

I’m originally from Texas, where I attended the University of Texas at Austin. I developed an interest in CAM during college, when I studied yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda at an ashram in India. I later moved to Boston to conduct research on Tai Chi to better understand the science behind mind-body practices. I chose to remain in Boston for medical school, attending Tufts University School of Medicine while continuing CAM research. Boston is a great city for residency, as it offers a plethora of healthy and fun activities. I love the outdoors, so the numerous hiking trails, beaches, and farmer’s markets never get old. MGH offers many perks, such as discounted tickets and memberships (which are always helpful on a resident’s salary).



Education

Tufts University School of Medicine, M.D., M.P.H. 2014

Tufts University, M.Biol.S., 2009, M.S.2007

University of Texas, Austin, B.S.2007