About Dr. Shaida Behnam

Shaida Behnam, MD, specializes in delivering personalized preventative healthcare to every patient she serves.  By integrating Eastern and Western philosophies in her private practice, Dr. Behnam is utilizing the wisdom of both schools of thought complementing each other to provide the best possible care for her patients.

"Healing is always possible, even when curing is not." -David Rakel, MD

Dr. Behnam believes in an integrative approach using therapies that address all aspects of an individual's health to facilitate healing. She makes recommendations based on an understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of each person. The practice of integrative medicine is healing oriented and emphasizes the doctor-patient relationship at its core.  This model focuses on the least toxic, least invasive, and least costly methods to help facilitate health by integrating both conventional and complementary therapies.  Dr. Behnam sees a patient as a whole person with mind, body, and spirit that when distressed may manifest with diseases.  She tries her best to educate her patients of how to nourish or supplement this work of art, our body which is created perfectly, to prevent diseases in support of the immune system. If diseases come to surface, then she uses the appropriate medication to treat and supplements to optimize the patient's healing.  She individualizes her care for every patient, since all patients are different with different strengths and weaknesses, and focuses heavily on nutritional medicine and mind-body healing.

Dr. Behnam is California Board Certified in Family Medicine , Board certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine, and certified in Medical Acupuncture.  Dr. Behnam holds advanced degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Near Eastern Studies from U.C. Berkeley.  She completed graduate medical studies at Ross University School of Medicine and trained at USC Presbyterian Inter-community Hospital for her residency. She is credentialed in Medical Acupuncture through the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.

Prior to starting her own practice, Dr. Behnam served as a Family Physician and Associate Medical Director at the Axis Community Health Clinic for seven years in Pleasanton, California where she mainly treated indigent populations and quite complex patients from all over the world. She was awarded for the excellence in her clinical services by Community Health Center Network in Alameda County in 2007.

In addition, as a female family physician, Dr. Behnam has a special interest in women's health and education.  She focuses on Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for post-menopausal women. She also recommends other natural modalities such as different Botanicals or alternative treatments for management of menopausal symptoms, premenstrual syndrome, and dysmenorrhea .

Dr. Behnam uses acupuncture for pain management, overall well being and energy flow, weight loss and smoking cessation. She uses infrared treatment for chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.  She also utilizes biofeedback and breathing exercises for stress management, anxiety, panic attacks, and anxiety induced hypertension.

Dr. Behnam comes from a family of physicians. Her father is a retired Obstetric/Gynecologist whom interested her in medicine from an early age.  She also grew up with a diabetic mother which taught her what chronic disease meant as a patient and to their family, and how important preventive care can be to save a person from long term suffering.  She lost her mother to diabetes and its complications at the end of her second year of residency.  For that reason, diabetes is another interest of Dr. Behnam and educating diabetic and pre-diabetic patients about this chronic disease has a special place in her heart that can prevent devastating consequences.

Dr. Behnam is the oversight physician at Monterey Peninsula College and works at the student center clinic on Wednesday afternoon to be more involved in this beautiful community.

Dr. Behnam currently practices at the Waligora Medical Group in Monterey along with Dr. Daniel Waligora, who is one of the most highly regarded Internists in the tri-county area.

Honors and Awards

  • Award of Excellence in Clinical Services, Awarded by Community Health Center Network
  • 2007 Recognition; School of Imagination & Happy Talkers
  • 2009 Loan Repayment Award Recipient, Awarded by California Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program
  • 2004 Dean's Honor List, UC Berkeley, 1991-1993

Current affiliations

  • California Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Family Physicians

Published works

Matsuda, I., Masuda, E., Tsuboi, A., Behnam, S., Arai, N., & Arai, K.I. (1994) Characterization of NF (P), the Nuclear Factor That Interacts With the Regulatory Sequence (5'-CGAAAATTTCC-3') of the Human Interlekin-4 Gene: Relationship P to NF-kB and NFAT. Biomedical & Biophysical Research Communications. 199, 2: 439-466

Masuda, E.S., Natio, Y., Tokumitsu,H., Campbell, D., Saito , F., Hannum, C. Arai, K.I., Arai, N. (1995). NFATx, A Novel Member of the Nuclear Factor of Activated T-Cells Family That Is Expressed Predominantly in the Thymus. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 15,5:2697-2706.