Sudha Rani Kailas MD, PhD
by, Lisa Herman, PsyD, LP
Synergy recently interviewed a highly-skilled pediatrician and psychiatrist, Sudha Rani Kailas, MD, PhD in order to learn more about her clinical expertise. Dr. Kailas currently lives and works in New Mexico and is licensed in that state to treat patients. She is available to help anyone as a consultant along with your primary physician in order to create a holistic treatment plan that is right for you. We want to thank Dr. Kailas for her passion to improve overall physical and mental well-being in kids and families around the globe!
Synergy: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to tell us more about you! First, can you tell our community what your degrees are in and why you chose to practice in this medical field?
Dr. Kailas: In brief, I received an MD/PhD in Neuroscience and an MS in Pharmacology from Tulane University, followed by residency training in Pediatrics, Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychiatry at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. This academic path was a natural progression from the curiosities that prevailed from a young age. I knew I wanted to “be a Pediatrician” at age 5, and I began pondering the question of “Who am I?” around pivotal life events at age 13. All subjects, especially science and art, fascinated me in school. In college, I was enamored by Biochemistry and Neuroscience and was intrigued by how the latter intermingled with Psychology. The encouraging advances of modern science drew me into research, and I continue to wonder and marvel at the subjects being researched today. Of interest, psychedelic science is receiving favorable attention for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Though still in clinical trials, this work gives a great deal of hope, as psychedelic medicines have been known throughout history to allow insights into deep mystical realms that aren’t readily perceived in modern existence. The hope is that people influenced by these experiences will learn to integrate practices of daily living that allow them to exist more harmoniously with their inner world.
Synergy: You knew at such a young age what you wanted to do with your career and followed your dream, that’s inspiring! Can you tell us more about what type of clinical work you engage in with your patients? What types of problems do you typically help people overcome?
Dr. Kailas: Clinically, I work as an Integrative/Holistic Psychiatrist, utilizing the framework of Ayurvedic Medicine to guide my clinical approach. I work with people of all ages (children, adolescents, adults, elderly, and even infants, as they accompany their parents), presenting with a wide variety of diagnoses, ranging from stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression to ADHD, Autism, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder. Often times, these diagnoses are accompanied by some sort of holding pattern, or addiction, for ease of meaning. Opiate and stimulant medications, even though prescribed, are big problems these days. The most important way I help patients in my practice is by re-framing the understanding of the mind such that we de-stigmatize the mental suffering we are going through, as a culture. People are increasingly unsatisfied with the tools of modern medicine, and they are losing hope. The personalization and humanization of my clinical approach allows the patient to release the crutch around the diagnosis, thus freeing them to integrate challenging feelings and reclaim a healthy state of being.
Synergy: Your work, being more holistic, is definitely the way a lot of medical and mental health providers are headed. We cannot just treat a symptom without truly understanding the whole person. What do you see as the biggest obstacle to your job?
Dr. Kailas: The biggest obstacle to my work is time. Subtle healing of long-standing trauma takes time to accept, witness, and release. Patient motivation is also a challenge. If we are truly to release pain and hardship from the past, we must experience that which was previously packed away. However, people are often uninterested in working through pain. The quick fix of a pill has become all too alluring in our culture. These challenges, compounded by the stranglehold of insurance companies, create a huge obstacle, more of a burden to bare.
Synergy: We also see that in our practice, which is why we started online therapy. We want people to have time to work on themselves! What are a few main points you hope people understand about your work?
Dr. Kailas: I hope people understand that I will support them as a guide. Ultimately, each of us knows our own bodies best. By listening to what patients tell me about their experiences, I’m able to support them and offer constructive guidance for creating new patterns, habits, and ways of being that redeem and liberate. The work we do together is extremely challenging when done well, and through the bitterness of pain we discover the sweetness of freedom.
Synergy: In your medical opinion, what can people do every day on their own to be healthy?
Dr. Kailas: Pay attention to the breath. Contemplate the breath. Practice breathing. Do so with loving kindness, not force or judgement. Carry this feeling into acts of daily living. Serve in kindness and create in joy, without care of who is watching or how cool we think we look. With patience, we allow the truth of our being to emerge, and this is Ultimate Health.
To learn more about Dr. Kailas and her work, check out her website: http://www.sudharanikailas.com/