FACES of Orange County

Understanding and Healing Brain Disorders

Daniel Amen, MD, Founder of Amen Clinics


Daniel Amen, MD, Founder of Amen Clinics

Over the last 25 years Dr. Daniel Amen has built the world’s largest database of brain scans related to behavior. But the road wasn’t easy. During that time the founder of the Costa Mesa-based Amen Clinics was often called a fraud. Yet, he still charged forward. “It’s my faith that has helped because I’m on this planet for a reason.” So what makes Dr. Amen stand out so controversially? The father of four wants to change psychiatric medicine by assessing the organ at the heart of it all. “Psychiatrists are the only medical doctors who virtually never look at the organ they treat, which ultimately can hurt patients.” Patients visiting Amen Clinics have their brains scanned using technology called SPECT. Dr. Amen credits his alma mater for preparing him for the challenges he faces as a physician. “Trying to change a medical specialty is hard and takes commitment and the ability to deal with criticism from others. Vanguard University was the perfect training ground for the mission God gave me in this life.” I think we can all say a loud Amen to that.

Photograph by Jason Wallis Photography