What are your pronouns?
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up on Staten Island in New York. My parents emigrated from India and wanted to give me and my siblings a better life in America.
What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
I am an obstetrician and gynecologist trained in complex contraception and abortion care. I also care very deeply about shared reproductive and contraceptive responsibility, including male birth control methods in my counseling and provision.
What first inspired you to become a doctor?
I have wanted to become a doctor since I was a child and an obstetrician and gynecologist since eighth grade. In fact, that is what I wrote for my career plans in my eighth grade yearbook! I have always been and still am fascinated with pregnancy. I love delivering babies and taking care of patients to help them have the reproductive life plans they want.
What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
The Trump administration’s “domestic gag rule” motivates me to advocate for the patients with low-income who will suffer by not being offered the option of abortion care if they desire and are receiving health care from Title X funds. I am proud of Planned Parenthood for refusing the funding even though they do so much more for patients than just abortions, including vasectomies, STI testing, wellness exams, birth control, and cancer screenings. However, Planned Parenthood should be receiving federal funding given they offer comprehensive medical care compared to some “crisis pregnancy centers” who receive federal funding but may not have a health care provider on site and do not offer the full range of health care services. Women deserve all of their health care options and not just the ones based on ideology rather than medical facts that the government deems appropriate.
How do you practice self-care?
I love to go hiking and camping to explore the outdoors. Something about being unplugged and one with nature really helps to center me and realize the things that are important in life.
Who is your social justice hero?
My social justice hero is my grandfather or “Dada,” Arvindbhai Patel. In India in the 1950s, girls did not attend school after the age of 12 but rather stayed home and learned domestic duties. Even with less than a high school education, Dada felt so passionately about educating girls that he opened Brahmingam School so that girls and boys together could continue their education. This little school of one class grew each year and now has hundreds of co-ed students. Dada was then blessed with six daughters and ensured that each of them received a college education, emphasizing the importance of higher education for girls and women. Dada inspires me to help girls and women pursue their goals in life by taking control of their fertility.