Where did you grow up?
I lived in Southern California, since 8th grade, and graduated from UC Irvine. I then stayed at UCI for an additional year doing research at UCI’s Neuropsychiatric Center, attended Des Moines University for medical school, trained in Michigan through the Michigan State University system at Garden City Hospital, and came to Nevada in 2008 to be closer to California again.
What made you choose osteopathic medicine?
Osteopathic medicine was something I had never even heard about until I was at UCI and did my undergraduate research through the neuropsychiatric department. As an undergrad, I only met M.D.’s. The year I stayed on after graduating, one of the senior residents in psychiatry was a D.O., and he told me about this whole other branch of medicine, an alternative to the allopathic route. I thought it suited my ideals and philosophies. Growing up in India and having lived there for a while, my early introduction to medicine was my grandma giving you a certain oil to massage, or having a drink with turmeric to help with a sore throat. It wasn’t always medicine, medicine, medicine. Before speaking with that D.O., I was only thinking about the traditional allopathic route, and I wasn’t looking to see what else I could do. When I decided to apply to medical school, I applied to only osteopathic schools and no allopathic ones. I ended up getting into the one in Des Moines, and I decided to go to it.
What role do you see the specialty of Family Medicine having in current times?
Unfortunately, I think primary care has lost a lot of ground. We’re marginalized and not given enough credit for what we can do and the power we have to keep prevention as a goal for our patients. You get marginalized as not needing to be seen often enough, or as just a gateway to get to the specialist. Health matters, screenings are important, and it’s a priority that should be important to patients. I think education is the key to helping patients realize that. Physicians should advocate for that, and patients that come in should be able to take it back with them. They need to see that it matters and it can make a difference. They need to see that prevention matters and it can make a difference in their long term health. Thus, by learning about prevention from their family doctor and implementing these measures now they can ensure good health in the future.
What are your hobbies?
I love to read, paint, hike, engage in yoga, practice meditation, and be outdoors. Since I like to read I stay engaged with new ideas and ways of seeing the world. Through painting I am able to keep my creative outlets open and tap into looking at a problem from different angles. By engaging in activities that are good for my mind and body I allow myself to replenish my spiritual, mental, emotional and physical energy which in turn enables me to better serve others. I believe it is important to stay connected with what makes you passionate and brings you joy. This prevents stagnation and supports your ongoing growth as an individual.
Interviewed and Written by:
Charleen Pham OMS I