About Dr. Deena

headshotDeena Neff, M.D. founded her integrative medicine practice in 2011 to practice a richer form of medicine, allowing her to incorporate the best of conventional medicine with integrative and functional medicine. She wanted to create an environment where patients are comfortable, welcomed, and empowered to optimize their health. Dr. Neff has been practicing medicine since 1991 and is board certified in family medicine. Her wealth of clinical experience includes her current work as a hospitalist at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. She spent four years on the Navajo Reservation providing primary and emergency care for a very rural and traditional population. She was Chief of Staff at Inscription House Clinic there on the Navajo Reservation, and since then, has held the positions of the Medical Director of Berkeley Primary Care and Medical Director of Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless. She has been a faculty member of UCSF and taught residents and students there and at many varied clinics.

Dr. Neff completed her medical training at Jefferson Medical College, with a post graduate residency in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. There she was awarded the Julius R. Krevins Award for Clinical Excellence. Her undergraduate degree is from Smith College with a B.A. in Government. She has completed Dr. Andrew Weil’s Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, at the University of Arizona. She continues her studies of Integrative and Functional Medicine, currently with the  Institute of Functional Medicine and has completed the Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice and the Cardiometabolic Advanced Practice Module courses, as well as attended the 2014 Annual Conference, “Functional perspectives of Food and Nutrition: the Ultimate Upstream Medicine, Applying personalized therapies in clinical practice.”   She has been an avid practitioner and student of yoga and meditation for many years and brings this ancient wisdom to her practice, knowing first hand the power of movement, meditation, and breath work.

Inspirations

Dr. Jeffrey Draisin
Dr. Jeffrey Draisin was one of the few physicians that was truly a mentor for me in medical training. We created a rotation for me centering on spirituality and healing during my residency. He was always one to consider how a patient was affected by whatever disease they were experiencing.
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Dr. Tieraona Low Dog
Dr. Tieraona Low Dog continues to inspire me, long after her teachings in the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona. She is a physician, teacher, and herbalist, and the embodiment of a healer.
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Dr. Victoria Maizes
Dr. Victoria Maizes, along with Dr. Low Dog, is a thought leader in the new medicine of “Integrative Medicine.” She is leading the movement in education to change how medicine is practiced, bringing patient centered, low tech/low risk interventions to the fore. Her latest book, Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child, is a refreshing antidote to the intense, medicalized, ever growing field of infertility medicine, emphasizing small healthy steps that lead to large increases in fertility and healthy babies.
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Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman is one of the principal voices and thought leaders of Functional Medicine. He works tirelessly to promote healthy lifestyles and to end the “diabesity” epidemic. He inspires me with his compassion, clinical insights, and commitment to inspire as many people as possible to eat better and live better.
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Food as Medicine

As a girl, I loved watching Julia Child and other cooking shows. I cooked in several restaurants before going to medical school. I still love to cook for family and friends, and explore the farmers markets on the weekends. With my formal study of nutrition with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, I have the science to add to my passion for food, creating personalized food plans as medicine.

When she’s not in the office…

Dr. Deena can be found cooking in the kitchen with her partner, tending her garden, practicing on her yoga mat, riding her bicycle, or walking their aging poodle in the Oakland and Berkeley hills.