When it comes to our health, we will do just about anything we have to do to maintain it. But, when we go to hospitals where we have the best doctors in the world, but they have no bedside manner, it doesn’t matter how we are being healed, because we are still left feeling as if the care we are receiving is sub-par. When you enter a county hospital, it is a completely different experience, and the importance of developing a rapport with the doctor who is treating you is of utmost importance. It doesn’t always happen that you end up visiting with that MD again after you are released, but Dr. Niraj Mehta is out to change all of that with cupcakes, compassionate care and teaching.
Dr. Niraj Mehta
Dr. Niraj Mehta wanted to teach biochemistry on the college level, but didn’t like numbers, so becoming a Doctor seemed like a natural detour for him. He used this detour in a way that not many Doctor’s have used it, by creating a niche, where he is an Internal Medicine Doctor that does not have a private practice, but works in a county hospital and spends his time diagnosing patients while teaching Residents. He gets to mesh his love of teaching and medicine and he is also creating change; not only for his patients, but for those that he teaches.
During residency, Dr. Niraj Mehta noticed that he was working hard and was feeling beat up all the time and that he had little supervision. He told himself that he didn’t want to practice medicine this way and that he wanted to do things differently when he was handling his Residents. The things that changed him? The birth of his two daughters. He wanted to be a role model to them, and a fabulous role model he is.
Dr. Niraj Mehta is all about connecting with people. First, he wears his daughters pictures on his badges at work. Every day he moves one in front, so each day his patients see his children. This is not only a great conversation starter, but his patients feel as if they know him better and that he is a person, not just a Doctor.
The power of touch is amazing. People think you have to know each other their whole life to connect, but you can connect in an instant just by touching someone on the shoulder or the arm or their hand.
Dr. Mehta follows up with his patients and makes sure they see him after they are released. He gives them his number and lets them know that he is there for them and will become their Doctor for life if that is what they need and if they need another Doctor, he will find them the best care.
Dr. Niraj Mehta has started the Cupcake Man Project, which is all about making a patient feel a sense of normalcy and love when they are in the hospital on their Birthdays. He has a team that provides a cupcake, a homemade birthday card and a helium balloon and they meet at the nurses station and go to the patients room to sing Happy Birthday.
This has not only changed the way many Doctor’s have begun to form relationships with their patients, but also the way patients are healing.
Teaching is a passion for Dr. Niraj Mehta, and he passes along his wisdom to his students that he takes on every year. These students leave with a greater understanding of how to practice compassionate care and how to recognize the patient as a human being and not just a chart. What Dr. Mehta is doing is changing the face of Doctoring, one Resident at a time.
Working at the County Hospital has given me an incredible wealthy soul.
Dr. Niraj Mehta is such a kind soul. He draws you in with his words and his love and his soft calm voice. He is the type of Doctor you hope to have standing over you when you wake up from surgery or when you are admitted into a hospital. He is the type of Doctor that gives you the feeling it will all be fine.
J-Vibe Online Magazine is lucky that Dr. Niraj Mehta will be writing a column for us and will not only be taking questions, that you can submit here, but will also be telling stories of his journey and of some of the compassionate care that he has witnessed over the years and about he has arrived at his own destination.
As Dr. Mehta says;
Your journey is your destination. If you don’t enjoy your own journey, you will be a lone ranger at an empty destination when you arrive.