Sara Ptasnik, MD is a Community Track Fellow and clinical instructor at UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM). She grew up in Colorado but moved to California for her undergraduate training at University of Southern California, receiving a BA in Neuroscience with minors in Sculpture and Natural Science. She also began exploring mind-body practices through yoga and meditation and joined a research lab studying how exercise enhances neuroplasticity in Parkinson's Disease.
She completed her medical studies at Keck School of Medicine of USC and went on to LAC+USC Medical Center for her internship and residency. She is now double board-certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Throughout training, Dr. Ptasnik developed a growing interest in how psychosocial and socioeconomic factors impact health and disease at all ages, as well as the importance of maintaining one’s own health and balance as a healthcare provider. She completed the Integrative Medicine in Pediatrics Curriculum through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and also studied the benefits of guided imagery and group council on lifestyle changes in adolescents with obesity.
After residency, she delved into her passion for Ayurveda and is now a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Instructor through the Chopra Center. She has been working at Optum Care in urgent care and outpatient pediatrics with a focus on holistic health and lifestyle medicine. Outside of medicine, Sara enjoys yoga, painting, climbing, skiing, hiking, and spending time in nature. She looks forward to learning acupuncture and a deeper understanding of East-West approaches at UCLA CEWM with the goal of bringing these modalities to underserved communities.