Ana Turner, MD, is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine, and completed residency through the department of psychiatry in Gainesville, Florida. She worked for several years at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist. Dr. Turner also began her teaching career as an adjunct faculty member during this time, teaching medical students and residents on psychiatry, as well as running a Collaborative Learning Group.
When her mentor, Dr. Richard Christensen, passed away suddenly in 2015, she began covering his clinic once a week at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center, a homeless shelter and Federally Qualified Health Center in Jacksonville, Florida. She soon realized this work was her true passion.
Dr. Turner, her husband and their four children moved to Jacksonville, and she became assistant professor for both UF Health in Gainesville and Jacksonville. She provided consultation-liaison services one day per week and worked at Sulzbacher the remaining days of the week.
Her unique responsibility throughout both sites is street psychiatry. This involves meeting patients where they are, with a “mobile” office, and treating those most marginalized in the community. Treatment can involve drawing labs, administering medication and coordinating wrap-around services to meet their significant psychosocial needs. Dr. Turner brings students and residents at each outing, and has become the clerkship director for UF Health Psychiatry – Jacksonville, the associate program director for the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville Psychiatry Residency, and co-created the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville Community Psychiatry Fellowship.
For her work with street psychiatry, she has been interviewed by The Post (a UF Health Gainesville communications publication), Open Lines (a UF Health Jacksonville communications publication), Circles Magazine (Jacksonville’s guide to philanthropy), and The Lancet Psychiatry (an international medical journal).
Dr. Turner’s teaching philosophy is grounded in providing an immersive experience in community psychiatry, to provide learners with the tools needed to help their patients achieve their recovery goals. By humanizing people experiencing homelessness for her learners, she helps to identify how psychiatric care extends beyond the hospital or clinic into daily life, and how interprofessional care and teamwork can increase access to effective interventions for marginalized and excluded populations.
Dr. Turner was selected as the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville Excellence in Student Education Award in 2019, an Exemplary Teacher for UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville in 2020 and 2021, and the Psychiatry Residency Teacher of the year Award in 2020. In 2020, she was also nominated for The Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award, a national annual award from the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
In 2021, she won the UF College of Medicine’s Hippocratic Award, the college’s highest award for clinical teaching among all UF Health Gainesville and UF Health Jacksonville clinical faculty.