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Meet Todd Young, MD in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Young.

Todd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Today, I have the incredible good fortune to be practicing medicine in the vibrant and health-conscious community of Encinitas. Since 2009, when I first moved to California to complete my fellowship training in child and adolescent psychiatry, I’ve lived and worked in San Diego, Napa, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Ventura. California is a pretty incredible place – at times it can be hard to believe that we get to live here!

After spending several years practicing in community psychiatric settings, it was becoming clear to me that much of the way we traditionally practice psychiatry, though well-intentioned, is lacking. I wanted to get away from the fifteen-minute med-check model, and instead turn my focus toward the areas that I now understand to be the true determinants of good mental health: personalized diet and nutrition, stress management, healthy relationships, functional physical movement, and a more holistic way of thinking about a person’s presenting psychiatric symptoms.

I decided to transition into private practice in order to be able to shape my practice in these ways, and to begin to incorporate the accelerated pace of knowledge we are gaining when it comes to the importance of the gut microbiome, hormones, metabolism, and inflammation in the development of chronic conditions such as depression and anxiety. We need to be asking, what are the underlying causes of a person’s symptoms? It’s a different way of thinking which, when combined with a careful understanding of a person’s psychology, and the judicious use of appropriate medications when necessary, can create the conditions that tend to result in an amplified state of good mental health and wellness over time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Learning the ropes of business over the past year has been a surprisingly satisfying experience, despite the steep learning curve! I also work with an incredibly reliable and professional practice manager, Ashley Zimmerman, who has been integral to the smooth running of the practice.

It’s also true that the path to this point overall has been a long and, at times, arduous one. But it is a privilege to practice medicine, and in retrospect, even the biggest challenges along the way – like losing my home in Hurricane Katrina during my last year of medical school – though they can be grueling, they have also shaped my ability to be present and attuned to people in crisis. This turned out to be true recently, while working in Ventura during the Thomas Fires. I saw the community knit together tightly when they needed to, and I understood what they were going through! Such experiences can make the challenges of being a business owner more manageable when they arise, because you can take them into a more realistic perspective when you’ve been through a lot before.

One of the more interesting puzzles on the road right now is the need to find a way to synthesize and incorporate all of the new information emerging from research, and to try to translate it into clinical practice. For this reason, over the past year I have been working intensively on my certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine, and my goal is to be certified in 2019. This has provided me with a leading-edge framework for incorporating a systems-based approach to understanding the underlying causes of chronic conditions that I see in my patients. |

We’ve learned a ton in recent years about metabolism and inflammation, and how they impact our health and wellness. Functional medicine takes a systematic approach to the broad knowledge-bases of naturopathic, integrative and alternative medical systems, evaluating them against the latest research findings, and synthesizes this knowledge into a system that can be applied to the care and management of your patients. It’s been transformative to my practice so far!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Todd Benjamin Young, MD – what should we know?
We are a growing private psychiatric practice serving the needs of children, adolescents and adults in Encinitas and North County, San Diego. We specialize in psychodynamic psychotherapy and medication management with a focus on nutrition, physical movement, and a functional medicine-informed understanding of mental health. We take pride in a personalized approach to understanding your path to good mental health and wellness.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Relatability! And customer service!

It’s important that I can relate to my patients well, and I try to be responsive and thorough. It’s also a humbling experience to try and keep pace with a growing business, without making too many mistakes, but it’s a worthwhile thing to try to get right. Stay tuned!

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